Speed Reads

florida politics

Rep. Charlie Crist announces he's running again for Florida governor

Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) wants to give being governor of Florida another shot.

When he served as governor from 2007 to 2011, Crist was a Republican, and after a brief stint as an independent, he became a Democrat in 2012. He is the first prominent Democrat to announce that they will challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump who pushed back against mask mandates and locking down the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.

During an event Tuesday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Crist said DeSantis is "a governor who doesn't listen, who doesn't care, and doesn't think about you — unless of course you can write a campaign check. Really, he sees our state's wonderful diversity as a threat, not a strength we all celebrate. He's failed to lead during the greatest health and economic crisis of our lifetime."

Crist — who ran for governor in 2014 but was narrowly defeated by the incumbent, Republican Rick Scott — likely won't be the only well-known Democrat in the race for long. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) are both expected to soon announce that they will be running for governor, Politico reports. Florida last elected a Democratic governor in 1994.