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Independent Bud Chiles Drops Out Of Florida Gubernatorial Race

Bud Chiles is dropping his independent bid in the Florida gubernatorial race and throwing his support behind Democrat Alex Sink in what will now be a two-way race.

In a statement, Chiles said, "After much soul searching and advice, I have come to believe that continuing down this road could have unintended consequences, dividing those who hold common goals and potentially offering a victory to those who may not have the best interests of Floridians at heart."

"It is in that spirit that I support Alex Sink for Governor," he added. "While she and I have some differences, I am confident that she will wake up every morning determined to fight for what's best for Floridians."

With Chiles' decision, Sink will now go head-to-head with Rick Scott, a former healthcare executive who scored a surprise win in the Republican primary over Attorney General Bill McCollum.

Commenting on the news, Sink said, "I'm pleased to have Bud's endorsement and look forward to working with him on the issues we both care so much about and holding the special interests accountable."

"Bud and I share a passion for Florida's children and education, a commitment to make Florida a leader in renewable energy as part of remaking our economy, and the desire to hold politicians accountable and clean up the mess and corruption in Tallahassee," she added.

A Quinnipiac University poll released prior to last week's Republican primary showed Sink with a 33 percent to 29 percent lead over Scott. Chiles had the support of 12 percent of voters in the poll, while 20 percent were undecided.

In other news related to the Florida gubernatorial race, Scott announced Thursday that state Rep. Jennifer Carroll of Fleming Island will be his pick for Lieutenant Governor.

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