GOP AG to Run for Florida Governor

The state attorney general plans to file paperwork this week to seek the Republican nomination for Florida governor, sources close to the attorney general said Sunday.

Charlie Crist (search), 48, would become the first Republican to announce formally his intention to replace Gov. Jeb Bush (search), who is limited to two terms.

Three sources close to Crist confirmed the decision to run in 2006 on condition of anonymity. They said Crist planned to make a public announcement by midweek.

Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher (search), 61, is also expected to enter the GOP race, and Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings (search) may as well.

Crist, a former state senator, unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Democrat Bob Graham for the U.S. Senate in 1998. He followed Gallagher as education commissioner in 2000 before winning the attorney general's race in 2002 when Gallagher became chief financial officer.

Gallagher was unsuccessful in bids for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1986 and 1994 but ran well ahead of Jennings, a former two-term president of the Florida Senate.

Among Democrats, U.S. Rep. Jim Davis (search) of Tampa and state Sen. Rod Smith (search) of Gainesville have already announced they will seek the party's nomination for governor.