Crist adds three more candidates to list to fill Martinez’s seat
By DARA KAM
Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau
Monday, August 24, 2009
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Charlie Crist added three more Florida politicians to his possible appointees to fill U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez’s soon-to-be-vacated seat.
Former U.S. Reps. Mike Bilirakis, Lou Frey and Clay Shaw are now among the candidates Crist is considering, bringing his list to ten.
Shaw, a Fort Lauderdale Republican, served in Congress for more than 25 years. His district includes part of southern Palm Beach County.
Last week, Crist asked conservative favorite Daniel Webster, a former House speaker who later became a powerful state senator, to apply for the post.
Crist also is considering former chief of staff George LeMieux, who ran Crist’s gubernatorial campaign and remains a close ally.
Crist has said he wants to fill the post by Sept. 8, the day when Congress reconvenes after a summer break.
Today, Crist will interview Shaw in South Florida as well as Bilirakis and former U.S. Rep. Bill Young in Tampa.
He’ll also meet today with Frey and former Florida Cabinet member Jim Smith, a Tallahassee lobbyist who served as both attorney general and secretary of state, in Tallahassee, Crist spokeswoman Erin Isaac said.