REPRESENTATIVE Charlie Crist has officially announced his campaign to run for governor of Florida.
Crist has become the first to challenge the incumbent Governor Ron DeSantis.
Is Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist running for governor of Florida?
Crist announced his run for governor on Tuesday, May 4 at a press conference in his hometown of St. Petersburg.
On his Facebook page he declared, "Florida should be a place where hard work is rewarded, justice is equal, and opportunity is right in front of you. That's a Florida for all — and that's why I'm running for Governor."
During his announcement, Crist criticized Governor DeSantis saying, “Every step of the way, this governor has been more focused on his personal political fortune than the struggle of everyday Floridians.”
“That’s just not right. Just like our former president, he always takes credit but never takes responsibility.”
When asked about Crist's run for office DeSantis quipped, “Which party is he going to run under, do we know for sure?”
Who is Rep. Charlie Crist?
Crist has had a long political career in Florida starting in 1986 and is widely known throughout the state mostly because he has already served as governor.
He held the position of Florida governor from 2007 to 2011 as a Republican before his unsuccessful run for a Senate seat as an independent when he lost to Marco Rubio.
After switching parties again, he later lost a Democratic gubernatorial run in 2014 against the incumbent candidate, Rick Scott.
When he was governor, Crist took moderate stances and fought to restore voting rights for former felons which has continued to be a key issue in Florida.
He happily accepted stimulus aid from the federal government during the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009 and left the Republican party due to the hostility towards Obama.
Who else is running for governor of Florida in 2022?
Governor DeSantis has not yet confirmed his re-election campaign but is a leading contender for the Republican party’s presidential 2024 nomination.
Florida has not elected a Democratic governor since 1994 but two other Democrats are expected to challenge DeSantis and Crist.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is expected to join the race as a Democrat and has all but guaranteed her bid.
It is being speculated that Rep. Val Demings will also be in the running as a Democrat after her team released a biographical video on her social media account that seems to be setting her up for an expected bid.
The next Florida gubernatorial race will be held on November 8, 2022.
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