A lifelong Democrat, Chiles is poised to test the theory that 2010 is the Year of the Outsider. Another high-profile candidate, Gov. Charlie Crist, recently left his party to run as an independent in the U.S. Senate race.
The move gives him additional time to raise money and build name recognition for November’s race between candidates from the two major parties. In opting out of the Democratic primary, he skipped a one-on-one battle with Alex Sink, the frontrunner for the nomination who has raised $6.1 million.
“The two parties are not the solution,” he said. “They’re caught up in this high-stakes game that pits big money against big money and leaves ordinary Floridians on the sidelines.”
Chiles said he made his decision after he spoke on the phone with Sink and she told him she plans to raise $30 million on the race.Democrats likely won’t be pleased with Chiles’ move, as it could set him up as a spoiler candidate who would draw votes away from Sink.