Florida Politics

Charlie Crist says he won’t run for any office in 2016

Former Gov. Charlie Crist said Monday that he will not seek office in 2016.
Former Gov. Charlie Crist said Monday that he will not seek office in 2016. MIAMI HERALD FILE

Charlie Crist said Monday he won’t be running for any office in 2016, dispelling political rumors that he might seek a U.S. Senate seat if Republican incumbent Marco Rubio runs for president.

“As members of the Florida Democratic Party, we stand for something — fairness, growing the middle class, and policies that strengthen future generations,” the former Florida governor wrote on Facebook.

“I will not be seeking office in 2016, but I will be working alongside you. Too much is at stake for our beautiful Florida to be on the sidelines.”

In a sign of state Democrats’ thin candidate bench, Crist’s name had surfaced as a potential contender if Rubio, as expected, decides not to seek reelection. Crist, the Republican-turned-independent-turned Democrat, lost the Senate race to Rubio as an independent in 2010. He then lost to Gov. Rick Scott as a Democrat in 2014.

The most likely Democratic candidate now appears to be U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter, who held a swanky South Beach gathering for donors last weekend. He’s expected to launch a campaign next week, regardless of Rubio’s plans.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, wouldn’t say Monday if she’s considering making a bid of her own.

Several Republicans have also quietly expressed interest.