Politics Once GOP governor of Florida, Crist now runs as Democrat
Democrats cool on Crist's latest bid for Florida governor
ORLANDO, Fla. - Rep. Charlie Crist's (D) nascent campaign for Florida governor is receiving a tepid reception from some Democrats.As he embarks on his third bid for the governor's mansion, Crist has found himself running in the shadow of other prominent Florida Democrats who are weighing campaigns of their own. Many Democrats in the state are expressing enthusiasm for Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, both of whom are making clear overtures in the race to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, who served asFlorida governor for a single term before running other offices, is seeking the state’s highest office once again — this time as a Democrat.
Crist released videos Tuesday leaving no doubt the campaign is on. One video contrasts Crist' record as governor with that of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist announces another bid for Florida governor
Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist is launching a campaign to get his old job as Florida governor back. © Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA/AP Representative Charlie Crist (D) of Florida speaking at the Restoring Our Democracy program at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, DC on April 17, 2018 (Photo by Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images) Crist announced Tuesday that he will be entering the Florida 2022 race for governor, joining a potentially tough and crowded Democratic primary in a pivotal swing state.
“That's why I'm running for governor,” Crists says on the video.
Crist planned a more formal announcement later Tuesday in St. Petersburg, his hometown. He also plans a tour of five cities in coming days.
U.S. Rep. Val Demings, Agricuture Commissionr Nikki Fried and former U.S. Gwen Graham are frequently mentioned as potential Democratic candidates. There may well be others.
Crist has some built-in advantages in terms of name recognition and a strong fund-raising network, said Aubrey Jewett, political science professor at the University of Central Florida.
“He certainly has a shot to win. I'm not sure he will,” Jewett said. “He has been around the block.”
Crist, 64, does have a political resume that's hard to beat.
Crist served in the state Senate through the 1990s, then decided take on then-U.S. Sen. Bob Graham — one of Florida's most popular politicians. Crist lost.
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After that, he served as state education commissioner, then as Florida attorney general. Next on the list was an unusual three-way race against U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in 2010, in which Crist ran as independent. Rubio won re-election.
Then, after becoming a Democrat, Crist lost in 2014 to then-Gov. Rick Scott. Crist has now served three terms in the U.S. House.
In a recent interview, Crist said he has given this latest political foray a lot of thought.
“If you feel up to the task, and people are telling you it's time, I want to do it," Crist said.
Whoever wins the Democratic nomination for governor will take on DeSantis, who polls show remains popular in Florida. But Crist noted how often Florida statewide race are often settled by hundreds or even fewer votes.
“I really am an optimist. There are wins and losses in life," Crist said “I think people deserve someone who has a servant's heart.”
GOP delegates in Virginia to choose nominee for governor .
ANNANDALE, Va. (AP) — Tens of thousands of Virginians are casting ballots to choose nominees for governor and other statewide offices. The Republican Party is holding what it's calling an “unassembled convention” on Saturday to select its nominees in this year's race for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. Republicans haven't won a statewide race in Virginia since 2009. Because pandemic restrictions ban mass gatherings, delegates are casting ballots at nearly 40 polling sites across the state.More than 53,000 Virginians successfully pre-registered as delegates. GOP officials rejected applications from roughly 700 would-be delegates.