Bud Chiles has officially said he will get out of the governor's race and plans to endorse Democrat Alex Sink tomorrow at a press conference in Tallahassee. Chiles met Tuesday with Sink in Fort Lauderdale and began telling supporters of his decision later that afternoon.
“I need to be able to look people in the face and really believe in my heart that this was a campaign I could win and really be viable,” Chiles told the Times/Herald. “I just got to the point where it was difficult for me to do that.”
Chiles added that he came away from the meeting "feeling a whole lot better" about Sink's stance on issues he cares about, such as renewable energy, children's issues and spurring small business. "It seemed to me like that there was a lot more agreement than I might have thought."
Early money on the effect of the decision is mixed. Many Democrats feared he would siphon Democratic votes from Sink. But Chiles and some polls noted that he was also attracting some GOP voters disenchanted by Rick Scott. PPP's Tom Jensen said the final effect will be a wash.