Crist to endorse Democrat Keith Fitzgerald

Herald Staff WritersOctober 9, 2012 

MANATEE -- Former Gov. Charlie Crist on Tuesday will endorse Keith Fitzgerald's bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan in the Nov. 6 election, according to Fitzgerald's campaign.

The former Florida Republican governor, who in 2010 lost an independent bid for U.S. Senate after the GOP nominated now-Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, is set to appear at a news conference in Sarasota to endorse Fitzgerald, according to a news release.

Crist has been rumored to be considering launching a new campaign to re-take the governorship in the 2014 election, maybe

as a Democrat.

Last month, he heartily endorsed President Barack Obama during a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Fitzgerald, a New College political science professor, is challenging Buchanan, R-Sarasota, in the 16th Congressional District.

A prominent political handicapper last week rated the race as "favored Republican," after earlier listing it as "leaning Republican."

Also, a new independent poll taken Oct. 3-4 showed Buchanan with a 17-percentage-point lead over Fitzgerald.

Neither the Fitzgerald nor the Buchanan camps could be reached for comment late Monday.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031.

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