Bud Chiles is expected to announce Wednesday the end of his independent bid to become Florida’s governor, according to a state Democrat familiar with his plans.
The son of former Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles launched his campaign in June on the anti-establishment premise that the two big-moneyed political parties were part of the problem.
A call to Chiles was not immediately returned, and aide Jim McClellan told POLITICO he could not confirm Chiles’s pending plans, first published in the St. Petersburg Times.
“We will probably have some more information tomorrow,” said McClellan.
But Democratic consultant Steve Vancore said, “He’s out for sure.”
Chiles, who heads an advocacy organization for children, struggled to gain traction for his candidacy this summer and polled far behind in hypothetical three-way matchups. He recently signaled he did not want to be a spoiler.
“As long as my candidacy is viable, then, if I’m sending the message that Floridians want to hear, I’m going to keep doing that. And if, at some point, I feel that it’s not viable, then we can have another discussion about it,” Chiles told reporters last week.
Democrats have repeatedly downplayed the impact Chiles might have on Democratic nominee Alex Sink, but some privately worried that in an election with a razor-thin margin, he could cost the party the governorship.
A Rasmussen Reports survey taken last week showed Chiles drawing just 4 percent in a three-way contest between him, Sink and Republican nominee Rick Scott.