Diaz-Balarts yank endorsement of Gov. Crist for Senate

Two Miami-area congressmen have pulled their endorsement of Gov. Charlie Crist for the U.S. Senate.

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Miami Republican Reps. Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart have pulled their endorsement of Gov. Charlie Crist for the U.S. Senate, dealing his campaign a significant blow in South Florida's Hispanic community.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Lincoln Diaz-Balart offered few details, saying only that Crist had ``left us no alternative and he knows why.''

The Diaz-Balarts' withdrawal of their support -- a rarity in politics -- comes at a time Crist is steadily losing ground in the polls to former House Speaker Marco Rubio of Miami. Without the well-known Diaz-Balarts to campaign with him in their heavily Hispanic districts, Crist has lost key allies on his Senate rival's home turf.

Crist called their decision ``disappointing.''

Lincoln Diaz-Balart said the pulled endorsement has nothing to do with Crist's recent political performance. He added he and his brother are unlikely to endorse any other candidate, including Rubio. The decision to take away their support from Crist, he said, was made ``weeks ago.''

The governor on Oct. 27 passed over a prosecutor recommended by Lincoln Diaz-Balart for a county judgeship in North Florida. Diaz-Balart had written a letter in September to Crist, expressing his ``enthusiastic support'' for Frank Allman. Diaz-Balart's son, Daniel, is a Florida State University law student who interned in the fall at the Gadsden County State Attorney's office where Allman works.

Read the rest at the Miami Herald


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