Chiles Drops Out of Fla. Governor's Race

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The son and namesake of former Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles Jr. (search) is dropping out of the 2006 governor's race, less than two months after announcing he would run, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Lawton "Bud" Chiles III (search), 51, decided not to run after learning of a provision in the state constitution that requires a gubernatorial candidate to live in the state for the seven years before the election, said Ron Sachs, a friend of Chiles and former communications director for his father.

Chiles, a Democrat, was expected to make a formal announcement duritwo years ago after living in the Northeast for about a decade. He previously lived in Tallahassee, where he ran a communications company.

State Sen. Rod Smith (search) and U.S. Rep. Jim Davis have already announced they will seek the Democratic nomination for governor. Other Democrats contemplating a run include Florida Democratic Party Chairman Scott Maddox and former state education commissioner Betty Castor, who lost to Mel Martinez in last year's U.S. Senate race.

Republicans considering a run for governor include Attorney General Charlie Crist, state Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher and Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings.