Charlie Crist wants his old job back and on Tuesday announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for governor of Florida. Crist previously served as governor from 2007 to 2011 as a Republican before switching parties in 2012.
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) May 4, 2021
In the three-minute video accompanying the tweet, Crist touts his record during his first term as governor, saying “We protected 27,000 acres of the Everglades, saved the jobs of 20,000 teachers, cut property taxes for our seniors, lower the cost of prescription drugs, expanded children’s health care with KidCare, restored voting rights for 150,000 Floridians who did their time and we pulled together to pull our state out of the Great Recession.”
The video also slams current Gov. Ron DeSantis. “Today Florida has a governor that’s only focused on his future, not yours,” Crist claimed. “While COVID took the lives of 35,000 Floridians, DeSantis attacked doctors and scientists. He blocked health insurance for 800,000 Floridians, refusing to expand Medicaid. Denied unemployment benefits to women who were pregnant and handed out vaccines to his wealthy contributors while seniors were left waiting.”
Crist also attacked DeSantis for “stripping away your voting rights. He’s against a $15 minimum wage. He doesn’t believe in background checks for guns, doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to choose, doesn’t listen, doesn’t care and unless you can write him a campaign check, you don’t exist.”
Crist has represented Florida’s 13th Congressional District, based around St. Petersburg, since 2017. His gubernatorial campaign leaves his seat open and likely will leave Democrats with an even slimmer majority than they already have in the House of Representatives.
It could be a crowded Democratic field looking kick DeSantis out of office. The state’s agriculture commissioner, Nikki Fried, and Rep. Val Demings, who made history as Orlando’s first female police commissioner and who last summer was on Biden’s list of potential running mates, both are reportedly mulling a bid for governor.