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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — After losing a bid to unseat Republican Gov. Rick Scott in November, Democrat Charlie Crist ended speculation Monday that he could run for the U.S. Senate in 2016.

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“As members of the Florida Democratic Party, we stand for something — fairness, growing the middle class, and policies that strengthen future generations,” Crist, who lost a 2010 Senate bid to Republican Marco Rubio, said in a Facebook post. “I will not be seeking office in 2016, but I will be working alongside you. Too much is at stake for our beautiful Florida to be on the sidelines.”

The 2016 Senate race is drawing heavy speculation, as Rubio weighs whether to run for the presidency or to seek re-election.

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U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., has emerged as a potential Democratic candidate, but questions swirled around Crist, who was elected governor as a Republican in 2006 and later became an independent before running last year as a Democrat.

“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”

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