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Florida voters may finally have a time and place to witness the end of Gov. Charlie Crist’s career as a Republican.

Crist, who is considering running as an Independent in Florida’s Senate race, has scheduled a “candidate qualifying event” for 5 p.m. Thursday at Straub Park in St. Petersburg, which is his hometown.

Once the unquestioned frontrunner for the GOP nomination, Crist’s popularity among Republicans has taken a nosedive during his primary against former State Speaker Marco Rubio (R).

If Crist does decide to run as an Independent, as many insiders expect he will, Democrats believe the move will bolster the chances of likely nominee Rep. Kendrick Meek.

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