Tallahassee, FL - Governor Charlie Crist shocked Florida’s political universe when he decided to ditch the Republican Party and become an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate back in April.
The Legislature's Republican leaders call Crist’s defection an act of opportunism.
Now, they want to make sure nothing like it ever happens again.
Momentum is building for a so-called “sore loser” law.
The recommendation is that candidates be required to stay with their party or their no party affiliation status for a full year and a half before Election Day.
Otherwise, they'd be disqualified.
Still, some say the “sore loser” crackdown is less about the future than it is about GOP outrage over what's happening now.
“And, honestly, looking ahead at the presidential race, I mean, we're probably going to have people announcing for president in February and March, and we're going to be having presidential debates next summer. So all this may be not as interesting,” said FSU Political Scientist Carol Weissert.
The “sore loser” recommendation is part of a report by the state Senate's Ethics and Elections Committee.
Lawmakers could decide to draft a formal bill for next spring's legislative session.