U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart of Miami has taken himself off Gov. Charlie Crist's shortlist of potential appointments to the U.S. Senate.
Crist said Friday that he had asked Diaz-Balart, former U.S. Attorney Roberto Martinez and former Secretary of Smith Jim Smith to submit the questionnaire for gubernatorial appointments. U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez is stepping down.
"It was a great honor to be considered by Gov. Crist for appointment to the United States Senate," the Republican congressman says in a written statement released late Monday. "I thank him for his kind gesture of confidence. After giving the governor's request serious consideration and deliberation, I have decided to remain in the U.S. House of Representatives fighting for the causes which I deeply believe in."
Diaz-Balart has served in Congress since 1993 and would have had to give up a politically safe seat for a brief stint in the Senate. Crist is running for the Senate seat himself and it's understood that his appointment will bow out in 2010.
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