LeMieux: I won't run, Crist won't run as independent

Florida Sen. George LeMieux (R) on Tuesday batted down two new rumors in the red-hot Senate race in the Sunshine State, denying that he will seek the seat in the GOP primary against former state House Speaker Marco Rubio (R), or that Gov. Charlie Crist (R) would abandon his bid against Rubio and run as an independent.

LeMieux, a longtime close friend of Crist's who was tapped by the governor as an interim replacement for Sen. Mel Martinez (R), said his position against seeking a full term is unchanged.

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"I'm not planning on running for the United States Senate in 2010," LeMieux said simply. "Same as I said before."

LeMieux also dismissed the possibility of Crist withdrawing from the race or running as an independent.

"I have no indication that the governor is getting out," LeMieux said. "In to stay and win... I don't think (an independent bid) is true. He's said he's not going to."

Despite a significant edge in campaign money, recent polls show Crist lagging behind Rubio just as the state Legislature is convening — a mid-February Rasmussen poll showed Rubio leading Crist by 18 points, fueling speculation about the governor's chances.