The Florida Republican Party is getting ready for Gov. Charlie Crist’s departure as an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate.
Party general counsel Jason Gonzalez wrote a memo warning that members of the State Executive Committee or county GOP committees may not support anyone but Republicans in elections. Rule 9 of the state party’s bylaws requires party loyalty.
Crist is expected to file as an independent next week, bypassing the Aug. 24 Republican primary for the Senate. As a non-party candidate, Crist can remain a member of the Republican Party but he goes on the November general election ballot, without a primary.
State Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, who is state party chairman, said on Wednesday he was looking into the legalities of Crist’s move. He said he still hopes Crist won’t leave the party. Continue reading here.