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Chiles expected to end bid for governor

It appears that Bud Chiles' days as a candidate for governor are numbered. We are hearing considerable Buzz that Chiles is calling supporters to tell them he is ending his independent bid. An announcement is likely to come Thursday.

Democrat Alex Sink had lunch with Chiles on Tuesday in Miami but declined to discuss the conversation.

The timing of his expected announcement is not coincidental -- Thursday is the last day before overseas ballots begin printing. Chiles name -- the same as popular former Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles -- was expected to pull votes from Sink in her battle against Republican Rick Scott.

Chiles' campaign has not confirmed the news, but the candidate himself suggested last week that he does not want to play the role of spoiler.

As the Buzz spread, several top Chiles supporters said his departure wouldn't surprise them, including Dale Fuller, executive officer of the Tallahassee Builders Association. "I was afraid it was not looking good for him," said Fuller, who is supporting Chiles personally and not in her official role.

She added: "He does have some good policies that I would hope that some other candidates would pay attention to."