Bense Endorses Crist

Charlie Crist has picked up another high profile endorsement in his run for the Governor’s Mansion.

House Speaker Allan Bense of Panama City is backing Crist in his race against GOP rival Tom Gallagher.

"It appears to me they're both trying to upstage each other on who is the most conservative. I like Charlie Crist, I trust Charlie Crist, and I'm very proud to endorse Charlie Crist today as the next governor of the state of Florida."

Crist’s opponents claim he’s too liberal to be the standard bearer for the Republican Party, but Speaker Bense has solid conservative credentials and Crist is hoping this endorsement will put an end to those questions.

Crist told reporters Wednesday, “To have his endorsement and his support today, I think sends a very powerful message to those in our party, all across the state of Florida, that this is a campaign that understands the legacy of Jeb Bush. That we understand how important it is to make sure our children get the very best education possible. That we continue to strive to have accountability and to pay our teachers more."

A new poll released today by Quinnipiac University shows Crist leading Gallagher by a margin of 55 to 32 in the GOP primary for governor.