Crist Loses Support of Diaz-Balarts

Posted December 22, 2009 at 1:44pm

Five months after announcing their support for his campaign, Florida GOP Reps. Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart are no longer backing governor Charlie Crist (R) for Florida’s open-seat Senate race.

When contacted Tuesday, Lincoln Diaz-Balart’s office declined to provide further details about the move and instead pointed to somewhat cryptic statement the Congressman provided to the Miami Herald.

“We take our endorsements seriously, but the governor knows why we withdrew and he left us with no alternative,” the Congressman told the Florida Newspaper.

Crist, who has the support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is facing former state House Speaker Marco Rubio in the GOP primary next year. Rubio is running to the right of Crist and has worked to paint the governor as a moderate who is out of touch with his party. In recent months Rubio has become a darling of conservative leaders like South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint (R). Florida GOP Reps. Jeff Miller and Ginny Brown-Waite have endorsed Rubio.

CQPolitics currently rates this general election contest as Likely Republican.

*For a look at all the Senate races, check out CQ Politics’ election map.*

*Update:* Mario Diaz-Balart told the AP Tuesday that he and his brother notified Crist “weeks ago” that they were rescinding their endorsements. Mario Diaz-Balart said he has no plans to endorse another candidate.