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Crist seeks Martinez replacement with "integrity"

Gov. Charlie Crist ultimately wants Mel Martinez's U.S. Senate seat, but for now he has to appoint what amounts to a placeholder for the seat, thanks to Martinez's announcement last week that he'll step down early.

This morning, speaking to reporters, Crist said he has not yet made any decision about whom to appoint. But he vowed to take great care and deliberation. Names are already emerging, with the consensus being he'll appoint a known, trusted person who has no desire to hold the seat for more than the duration of Martinez's final term.

"It's an important decision, and I want to make sure it's transparent," said Crist, who faces former House Speaker Marco Rubio in the Republican primary for the seat and is expected to face off against Democrat Kendrick Meek in the 2010 general election.

"I want to make sure the people interviewed are people of integrity and character," Crist said, adding that he is "not sure" if he will do all the interviews himself.