Diaz-Balarts withdraw support for Crist in Florida Senate race

Two prominent Florida Republicans have withdrawn their endorsements of Gov. Charlie Crist's (R) Senate campaign.

Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Mario Diaz-Balart had backed Crist in his Republican primary contest against Marco Rubio, at one point heralding the governor as an "effective senator for Florida."

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But the two brothers unexpectedly pulled their endorsement weeks ago for reasons still unclear to voters. The Crist campaign removed their names from the endorsement list only Tuesday, reporters discovered.

In an interview with the Miami Herald, which first noticed the rescinded support, Lincoln Diaz-Balart merely said that Crist "left us no alternative and he knows why."

He added that the governor's sagging poll numbers had nothing to do with his decision.

Mario Diaz-Balart's office was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.

The loss of the Diaz-Balarts' support spells bad news for Crist, who has struggled recently to shore up support among his state's Republican base.

The brothers, who endorsed Crist early in the primary contest, could have helped deliver to the governor important votes among the Latin American community and in the Miami area, where Rubio has posted strong gains.

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