Republican wants Crist censured
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02/12/09 Mitch E. Perry
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When President Obama visited Fort Myers earlier this week at a Town Hall Meeting to pump up support for his economic stimulus plan, he was introduced by Governor Charlie Crist.

Crist has stood out this week as one of the highest ranking GOP officials nationally to come out in strong support of the stimulus plan. Although the Governor continues to be extremely popular in the state, there are some Republicans who are angry with him.

Steven Ledewitz, Republican from Boynton Beach, reportedly drew substantial applause last night at a Palm Beach County Republican Executive Meeting when he said Crist should be ‘censured’ for introducing Obama and supporting the stimulus bill.

The Palm Beach County GOP Chairman, Sid Dinerstein, told Ledewitz that he’d have to wait until the party’s next meeting and present his proposal in writing before action could be taken.

Mark Proctor is a Hillsborough County GOP political consultant. He says he’s heard some grumbling among Republicans, but doesn’t think Crist’s support of the bill will hurt him with voters.

Ledewitz’ anger with Crist didn’t begin this week. He’s still unhappy with the Governor’s lack of support for Republican candidates who ran against Democrat Robert Wexler for Congress last November.

Although a few Democrats have announced they will run for the Senate seat being vacated by Mel Martinez next year, none have announced they’ll run against Crist for Governor.

His solid approval ratings are such that few Republicans have announced for the Senate seat, because of recent speculation that Crist could run for that seat next year. Crist admitted last week he will announce his own intentions in May.

Proctor thinks that Crist will be on easy street next year if he runs for re-election as Governor, but not if he runs for Senate.

Ledewitz says he did support Crist against his ‘06 GOP opponent, the much more conservative Tom Gallagher. But he says he doubts that state Republicans will lay down and not challenge Crist next election season, whether he runs for governor or a senate seat.

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