Gov. Charlie Crist's decision to run as an Independent in the Florida Senate contest has cost him the services of top consultant and pollster.
The Stevens & Schriefer Group will no longer produce Crist's TV spots or advise his campaign, according to Russ Schriefer.
"We have ended our relationship with the campaign," Schriefer confirmed in an email. "We have worked with Governor Crist for a decade, we respect him and wish him well."
Glen Bolger, a partner at Public Opinion Strategies, confirmed his firm also will stop working with Crist.
While the DC-based consultants abandon Crist, some of his Florida allies are reportedly sticking with him.
From the Tampa Tribune:
[S]ome Crist supporters, particularly in his Tampa Bay area home turf, feel more loyalty to Crist than to the party.
Tallahassee lawyer-lobbyist Brian Ballard, long an influential fundraiser for GOP candidates including Crist, said Crist's most important financier will stick with him – "The guys who really raise the money aren't abandoning him," he said. "I have no doubt of that."
Orlando lawyer John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan, a Democrat who has backed Crist for years, said the move will enable Crist to get more support from Democrats and independents.