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Charlie Crist Completes Conversion: He Will Run for Governor as a Democrat Against Rick Scott

| November 2, 2013

Charlie Crist is making Rick Scott nervous. (kwalk628_

Charlie Crist is making Rick Scott nervous. (kwalk628_

Former Gov. Charlie Crist made it official Friday: He will run for his old job again in 2014, setting up a potential battle with Republican Gov. Rick Scott for the state’s highest office.

Crist, who is set to announce his candidacy Monday morning at Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg, quietly filed his paperwork Friday with state election officials. The move allows him to begin raising money immediately. He becomes an instant front-runner in a Democratic primary that also includes former state Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich of Weston.

But Crist, who was governor from 2007 to 2011, will have to prove himself to Democrats after being a Republican for most of his life and, beginning in 2010, becoming an independent. It was only in late 2012 that he joined the Democratic Party.

In an interview this week with The News Service of Florida, Crist said he is running because he genuinely cares about the state.

“I love Florida,” he said. “I love her with all my heart. I’m someone who really cares. That’s my core. I’ve been true to my principles and my core my whole life.”

Running as a Democrat is the latest chapter in a long and sometimes improbable political career for Crist. In 2006, he won election in a cycle hostile to Republicans, with his sunny optimism and ability to win over voters from both parties. By 2008, he was reportedly on the vice-presidential shortlist for the party’s presidential nominee, U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

In 2010, Crist decided to forego what was expected to be a relatively easy re-election bid to run for an open U.S. Senate seat. But the emerging tea party movement, scornful of moderates that it considered “Republicans in name only,” rallied behind former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, eventually chasing Crist out of the party. Running as an independent, Crist lost to Rubio in a three-way election.

Republicans drew on that history Friday, continuing their attack on Crist as a political opportunist who cares primarily about himself.

“Charlie Crist has now officially filed to run for the position he once abandoned,” said Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry. “When Florida needed Charlie Crist the most during difficult economic times, he ran away. If he really wants to be Governor now, why did he quit the first time?”

–News Service of Florida

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14 Responses for “Charlie Crist Completes Conversion: He Will Run for Governor as a Democrat Against Rick Scott”

  1. Christopher V. says:

    GOP yesterday, Dem today, tomorrow? Whatever is necessary.

  2. tom jack says:

    Charlie Christ loves only Charley Christ and is only concerned with lining his pockets and those of his puppet master John Morgan.

  3. Joe says:

    I would vote for just about anybody before I would ever vote for Sott!

  4. confidential says:

    Go Charlie Go, you got my vote!

  5. Sorry Charlie says:

    Charlie Crist is “lower” then dirt. A coward and a TRAITOR ! I’ll waste my vote on Scott before I would give it to this piece of garbage.

  6. I/M/O says:

    So tell me again how when he was Governor he warned Floridians that Fannie Mae, Frddie Mac and Mario Cuomo’s invention of adjustable rate mortgages were going to destroy the City of Palm Coast and the lives of thousands of families who lost their homes to foreclosure?

    Please post a video or even the text of one speech he gave giving his constituents any warning at all?

    Charlie Christ is the poster child of “Florida Foreclosures!”

  7. m&m says:

    I wouldn’t vote for this flip flopping two face turncoat for dog catcher…

  8. John Boy says:

    Did a decent job as a Republican and will do much better as a Democrat. He had no choice but to leave the Republican Party, he did not want to be associated with the American Taliban, Terrorists.

  9. Geezer says:

    I am happy to see Charlie run for governor. Sure, I’ll make it a point to vote for him..
    But I must confess something – I’d vote for a used napkin if it ran against governor Skeletor.

  10. Joseph Pulitzer says:

    Anyone but Scott!!!!!

  11. Mr. Molten says:

    Crist is a TRAITOR ! I will WASTE my vote on Scott before I will vote for Charlie Crispy !!!!

  12. johnny taxpayer says:

    Congratulations Democrats on ensuring Gov. Skeloator is easily reelected.

  13. Rob says:

    The word is that Mr. “I wasn’t aware of the 1 billion dollar fraud in my company” will raise 100 million dollars for his re-run for Governor. That amount is much more than Crist can raise.

    It does not make the governor’s race a mortal lock , because that tact did not work so well for Mr. 47%.

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