Published: May 12, 2010 5:48 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida Gov. Charlie Crist says he'll stop by a county elections office to register with no party affiliation on a Wednesday trip to his hometown of St. Petersburg.

Crist has already announced he's leaving the Republican Party to make an independent run for U.S. Senate. He said Tuesday that being independent allows him to stay true to his beliefs.

The Republican Party of Florida has assailed Crist's decision to remain in the Senate race.

He'll likely compete in a three-way contest with former GOP House Speaker and tea party favorite Marco Rubio and probable Democratic nominee U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami.