May 13, 2021

Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist announces another bid for Florida governor

Crist introduced Tuesday that he can be getting into the Florida 2022 race for governor, becoming a member of a doubtlessly robust and crowded Democratic main in a pivotal swing state.

Republican incumbent Ron DeSantis has not but formally introduced whether or not he’ll be operating for a second time period as governor.

Crist’s gubernatorial marketing campaign leaves his seat in Florida’s thirteenth Congressional District open and weak to a different Republican pickup at a time when Democrats have a slim majority within the Home of Representatives.

In a speech asserting his run in his hometown of St. Petersburg on Tuesday, Crist attacked DeSantis for his dealing with of the Covid-19 pandemic in Florida, seizing on the Republican governor’s transfer to arrange Covid-19 vaccination clinics in upscale communities as “shameful” and accusing DeSantis of following the recommendation of “quacks and conspiracy theorists” reasonably than scientists and medical specialists.

“He is failed to steer through the best well being and financial disaster of our lifetime,” Crist mentioned.

He criticized actions from the latest legislative session in Florida, referencing the controversial elections invoice handed proscribing entry to voting and an anti-riot invoice critics say will have a chilling impact on peaceable protests.

Crist mentioned he would “make it simpler to vote” in Florida, broaden Medicaid, elevate the minimal wage to $15 a hour and “deal with local weather change because the existential menace that it’s.”

“We’ll take heed to our fellow Floridians — whether or not it is totally legalizing marijuana, elevating the minimal wage to $15 {dollars} an hour, strengthening background checks, banning assault weapons — all of these items have to be performed to have true justice in our state and in our nation,” he mentioned.

Crist additionally recommended DeSantis was “extra targeted on his private political fortune” and harboring nationwide ambitions, because the governor emerges as a potential 2024 presidential candidate. He additionally accused DeSantis and Florida Republicans of making an attempt to “demonize, distract, and divide Floridians. They even mislead their very own supporters.”

“Their violent mob that attacked the nation’s capitol on January sixth exhibits the consequence of these lies. And Governor DeSantis is making an attempt to turn out to be a nationwide chief of that Republican Celebration,” Crist mentioned.

Reacting to Crist’s announcement, DeSantis jabbed Crist.

“What social gathering is he going to run on this time? I imply he is misplaced as a Republican-independent-Democrat,” DeSantis mentioned at an occasion in Vero Seashore. “However, , I seemed up, he is voting with Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time in Congress. I believed, heck, perhaps he offers the Inexperienced Celebration an opportunity. He is definitely voting that manner. So we’ll see what occurs.”

Crist served as governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011 as a Republican earlier than switching events. Dealing with a problem on the fitting from Marco Rubio, Crist dropped out of the 2010 Republican main for US Senate and determined to run as an impartial. He then switched his social gathering affiliation in 2012 to Democrat, telling CNN that “I did not depart the Republican Celebration, the Republican Celebration left me.”
He made an try in 2014 to win again the governor’s seat, however misplaced to Republican Rick Scott in a extremely aggressive race that turned private at instances.

Different Democratic candidates eying getting into the gubernatorial race are state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Democratic Rep. Val Demings.

Demings on Tuesday teased a possible announcement of a 2022 bid for governor, sharing a video on Twitter highlighting her document with the caption “prepared for the second.”

CNN’s David Wright contributed to this report.

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