Crist adds 3 former Congressmen to ever-growing U.S. Senate listby Dara Kam | August 23rd, 2009
Gov. Charlie Crist added three more Florida politicians to his possible appointees to fill U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez’ soon-to-be-vacated seat.
Former U.S. Reps. Mike Bilirakis, Lou Frey and Clay Shaw are now among the candidates Crist is considering, bringing his list to ten.
Shaw, a Fort Lauderdale Republican, served in Congress for more than 25 years. His district includes part of southern Palm Beach County.
Last week, Crist asked conservative favorite former House Speaker who later became a powerful state senator Daniel Webster to apply for the post. Crist is also considering former chief of staff George LeMieux, who ran Crist’s gubernatorial campaign and remains a close ally.
Crist said this weekend that he wants to fill the post by Sept. 8, the day when Congress reconvenes after a summer break.
Tomorrow, Crist will interview Shaw in South Florida, Bilirakis and former U.S. Rep. Bill Young in Tampa. He’ll also meet with Frey and former Florida Cabinet member Jim Smith, a Tallahassee lobbyist who served as both attorney general and secretary of state, in Tallahassee tomorrow, according to Crist spokeswoman Erin Isaac.
Crist, who is running in a GOP primary against former House Speaker Marco Rubio to replace Martinez, said previously “it is understood” that he’ll appoint someone who will not run against him next year.