Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has set a public "Senate qualifying event" for 5 p.m. Thursday, where he is expected to announce whether he will run for Senate as an Independent.

Crist is unlikely to continue to run as a Republican, by virtue of the long odds he faces against former state Speaker Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Cybersecurity: Bipartisan bill aims to deter election interference | Russian hackers target Senate | House Intel panel subpoenas Bannon | DHS giving 'active defense' cyber tools to private sector Senators unveil bipartisan push to deter future election interference Puerto Rico's children need recovery funds MORE. The choice at this point seems to be between dropping out and focusing on future races or running as an Independent.

The event will take place at Straub Park in St. Petersburg, Fla., in a setting that is open to both the press and the general public. Such a venue would seem an odd one for a candidate who is not pressing forward with a campaign.