Published May 01, 2010
If breaking up is hard to do, the Florida GOP isn't showing any signs.
Florida GOP officials took down an oil portrait of Gov. Charlie Crist just hours after the governor they helped elect dumped the Republican Party to announce he would run for the U.S. Senate as an independent, senior staff members told Fox News.
State party officials, who have removed any likeness of Crist, are auctioning the portrait they purchased for its headquarters in Tallahassee on eBay. Party officials say they paid $7,500 for the Crist portrait and another painting.
Officials also removed his signatures from all party materials.
The move punctuates the shocking end of Crist's relationship with Republicans who once touted the Florida moderate as a possible 2012 presidential candidate. Crist was heavily favored to win the Senate primary last year. But his campaign quickly became a lost cause as the tea party movement embraced another candidate, Marco Rubio, and held up the governor's literal embrace of Obama last year as evidence that Crist was too liberal.
Crist's departure from the Republican Party means it will be tougher for him to raise money, he'll lose nearly all his campaign staff and he won't have the advantage of a party infrastructure for resources like voter lists and volunteers. The party that helped propel him to power will now do anything to defeat him.
Fox News' Serafin Gomez contributed to this report.