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Crist is telling financial backers he's in: as independent

So the word is out: Gov. Charlie Crist is telling key financial backers that he's running for the U.S. Senate with no party affiliation. The announcement is scheduled for 5 p.m. in Straub Park in downtown St. Petersburg. They're expecting a small army of media, and it looks like Crist may have no Republican press staffers with him, and will rely on folks like local supporter Greg Truax and finance director Dane Eagle to deal with press inquiries.

His kick-off fundraiser is tentatively scheduled for Fisher Island off Miami Beach, where his wife owns a home.

-- Adam Smith