Published: May 23, 2010 12:51 AM EDT
Updated: May 23, 2010 12:51 AM EDT

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's statewide teachers union has issued a dual endorsement in the closely watched race for Florida's open U.S. Senate seat.
      
The Florida Education Association, which typically supports Democrats, announced Saturday it was recommending both independent Gov. Charlie Crist and Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek.

The FEA said it backed the governor because he bucked his former Republican Party and vetoed a bill that would have made it easier to fire teachers and tie pay to student performance.

Meek is popular with educators because he was a key supporter of the class size restriction amendment voted into the Florida Constitution.
      
The endorsement is proof that Crist's plan to appeal to groups that traditionally support Democrats is paying some dividends.