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Charlie Crist's friend and campaign chief, spokeswomen resign

Not too surprising here, but the Republicans who worked for Gov. Charlie Crist's U.S. Senate campaign are leaving him now that he's leaving the Republican race.

Eric Eikenberg, his chief of staff, is calling it quits. So are spokeswomen Andrea Saul and Amanda Hennenberg.

Eikenberg's departure is particularly notable. Since graduating from college in 1998, Eikenberg has worked in Republican Party of Florida politics. He started with now-Sen. George LeMieux's failed state House race (that's right, he's a senator who never won a real election), moved into the RPOF as a director of opposition research and then deputy executive director, worked for Republican Rep. Clay Shaw in Washington and then became Crist's staff chief before managing his imploding GOP campaign.

"I'm resigning. There will be a transition," Eikenberg said. He didn't want to say any more about the governor and candidate he vociferously stood by until now. That leaves Dane Eagle, Crist's former travel aide and current fundraiser, as the closest Crist ally in the dwindling campaign.

The big question: Who will replace Eikenberg? Dane Eagle aside, no Republican in his right mind would work for him (unless s/he is a spy). A Democrat probably won't. So that leaves what, a Green Party person?

Crist sent a letter to Republicans and released them from their endorsements, saying they don't have to stick by him. One Republican, Viera Sen. Thad Altman, said he'd stick by Crist.

"He has been a great governor," Altman said. "I endorse the person."

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