Gov. Charlie Crist on Thursday evening shot down - again - the notion that his competitive race against former House Speaker Marco Rubio will prompt him to switch from running as a Republican to an independent in the U.S. Senate election.
There has been a lot of talk about it again this week, including an ad placed at the top of the Drudge Report and paid by Sen. Jim DeMint Senate Conservatives Fund PAC that asked people whether Crist will switch parties.
Crist said any talk about party-switching "probably comes from my opponents. It's the silly season."
When asked about whether he plans to switch parties, he replied: "I sure don't. I'm happy where I am and how things are going."
Of course, all of this will be moot very very shortly. Under Florida law - 99.021 - someone has to switch parties 6 months in advance of the general election in order to run on the ballot with a different party affiliation. That date would be May 2.
BUT...federal candidates must qualify for the ballot during the week of April 26-30. So that's really when everything must be locked down.
UPDATE - The Rubio campaign contends that the talk of switching parties was sparked by Crist, noting some comments he has made recently where he acknowledges that some of his political advisors have talked to him about running as an independent.