03/16/2015 06:09 pm ET Updated Mar 16, 2015

Charlie Crist Won't Run For Senate In 2016

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Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (D) has ruled out a Senate bid in 2016.

Crist, who unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Rick Scott (R) in last year's gubernatorial race, was reportedly considering jumping in the race for Sen. Marco Rubio's (R) seat. (Rubio is widely expected to run for the Republican presidential nomination, and is barred from seeking re-election in the Senate if he does so since Florida law prohibits individuals from appearing on a ballot twice.)

"It's very early, but he's being encouraged to seriously consider bringing the people's voice to the U.S. Senate," Crist adviser Kevin Cate told CNN last week.

However, Crist tweeted Monday that he would not jump in the race:

Crist began his political career as a Republican, serving as the Sunshine State's governor from 2007 to 2011. Ahead of the 2010 election, he decided to forgo re-election as governor and instead run for U.S. Senate. But after Rubio jumped in the race and began surging in the polls, Crist withdrew from the Republican primary and instead ran as an independent. Rubio ultimately defeated Crist and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek to win the Senate seat.

Crist officially registered as a Democrat in December 2012.

"I've had friends for years tell me, 'You know Charlie, you're a Democrat and you don't know it,'" Crist said of his decision to switch parties.



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