Byline: BRANDON LARRABEE
TALLAHASSEE -- Over the winter and spring, as Gov. Charlie Crist was among those weighing an entrance into the race for U.S. Senate, a rumor was circulating among the politicos and media figures in state government.
Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., would make an early exit and Crist would either appoint himself to the seat or resign himself and allow Jeff Kottkamp, moving up from the lieutenant governor's spot, to tap Crist for the Senate.
Martinez would get a seat in academia, perhaps as a university president, and Kottkamp would get increased visibility for his race for attorney general -- or governor, if he liked.
It looked …