UPDATED: State Rep. Tom Grady, a wealthy Naples Republican is the latest defection from the Charlie Crist U.S. Senate campaign. He was a member of the campaign's statewide finance team and a Southwest Florida regional chairman. Grady suggests that Crist's positioning as an independent and his recent veto is to blame.
His letter (read it below) cites an interesting reason: "As I reviewed your updated campaign website, I noticed a disheartening fact. Your website has eliminated all references to our Republican Party , or as you frequently refer to it, the party of Lincoln. As a long-time personal friend, I had suspected you were considering a break from the party when my recent calls went unanswered."
Crist's campaign rejected the assertion, calling it a fabricated story. “No Republican references have been scrubbed from our website, period," said Andrea Saul, a campaign spokeswoman. "You can view Governor Crist’s common sense conservative record on our website today, the same way you could before."
Grady further suggests Crist's "recent actions have not been about policy, but about emotion and crying. Policy and people have suffered as a result," he wrote, quoting, in part, a recent Peggy Noonan piece about Crist.