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Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has until this Friday to announce if he will make a run for the open Florida Senate seat as an independent instead of his current status as a Republican.
updated 4/27/2010 10:55:52 AM ET 2010-04-27T14:55:52

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist says he'll decide by Thursday whether to stay in his state's GOP Senate primary or run as an independent.

Crist told reporters after a Cabinet meeting Tuesday that he'd like to wrap it up. The official deadline to decide is noon Friday.

Asked what's changed that's making him consider an independent run, Crist quietly responded that he didn't know.

Crist once had a commanding lead in polls, but now he's trailing former Republican House Speaker Marco Rubio badly in the primary. Polls show he could win a three-way race in November with Rubio and Democratic front-runner U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek.

Republican leaders in Washington and Florida are strongly urging Crist to either stay in the August primary or drop out altogether.

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