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Charlie Crist, a Florida Democrat, will run against DeSantis for governor.

MIAMI — Representative Charlie Crist, Democrat of Florida, entered the race for governor on Tuesday, becoming the first challenger to Ron DeSantis, a Republican who raised his profile during the pandemic and is now one of the best-known governors in the country and a leading contender for his party’s presidential nomination in 2024.

“Every step of the way, this governor has been more focused on his personal political fortune than the struggle of everyday Floridians,” Mr. Crist said under the blazing sun in St. Petersburg. “That’s just not right. Just like our former president, he always takes credit but never takes responsibility.”

Earlier, in a video posted on Twitter, Mr. Crist said: “Today, Florida has a governor that’s only focused on his future, not yours.”

Mr. Crist has a long political history in Florida and is widely known throughout the state. He served as governor as a Republican from 2007 to 2011 before running unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate as an independent, losing to Marco Rubio. After switching parties, he later lost a Democratic bid for governor in 2014 against the incumbent, Rick Scott.

But Mr. Crist’s experience is unlikely to deter other Democratic candidates. His clout has been diminished by years of electoral failures and by a party that is increasingly open to a wider range of more diverse public figures to be its standard bearers. Two women, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Representative Val Demings of Orlando, are considering their own Democratic runs for the governor’s mansion.

Indeed, the field could soon get quite crowded. Ms. Fried scheduled a news conference in the State Capitol for the same time as Mr. Crist’s announcement. “As the only statewide elected Democrat, it makes absolute sense for me to be running for governor,’’ she said, but added that she would not make an announcement on Tuesday.

Ms. Demings released a video of her own on Tuesday that, while not declaring a candidacy, highlighted her career as Orlando police chief, impeachment manager in Congress and a shortlisted vice-presidential pick for President Biden.

Similar jockeying — though not quite as intense — is underway among Democrats looking to go up against Mr. Rubio, who also faces re-election next year.

When reporters in Tallahassee, the state capital, asked Mr. DeSantis about Mr. Crist’s announcement on Tuesday, the governor mocked Mr. Crist’s party-switching.

“Which party is he going to run under, do we know for sure?” he said.

“I implore them, from my political interest: Run on closing schools,” Mr. DeSantis said on Tuesday about Democrats. “Run on locking people down. Run on closing businesses.” He added: “I would love to have that debate.”

In advance of Mr. Crist’s announcement, Mr. DeSantis held an official event on Monday at Mr. Crist’s favorite seafood restaurant in St. Petersburg, touting the wins he racked up during the annual legislative session that concluded last week — a session that he and Republicans in control of the Legislature used to champion policies that will appeal to Florida’s increasingly conservative electorate.

Republican lawmakers approved restrictions on mail voting, penalties on social media companies that remove users for troubling posts, anti-protest policies, a ban on transgender athletes in girls’ and women’s sports, and a ban on “vaccine passports” — all fodder for Mr. DeSantis to deploy in a re-election campaign.

On Monday, Mr. DeSantis signed a bill and an executive order doing away with most of Florida’s remaining pandemic restrictions, contrasting his administration’s aversion for mandates to the restrictions in states led by Democrats.

Mr. Crist was withering in his criticism of the governor on Tuesday.

“Gov. DeSantis’s vision of Florida is clear: If you want to vote, he won’t help you,” Mr. Crist said. “If you’re working, he won’t support you. If you’re a woman, he will not empower you. If you’re an immigrant, he won’t accept you. If you’re facing discrimination, he won’t respect you. If you’re sick, he won’t care for you.”

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by Anonymousreply 55Last Thursday at 8:56 AM

Who will be First Gentleman?

by Anonymousreply 105/04/2021

Is he the gay one?

by Anonymousreply 205/04/2021

I hope he wins.

by Anonymousreply 305/04/2021

This faggot again? Florida is the most ass backward place.

by Anonymousreply 405/04/2021

R4 Why do you dislike him enough to call him a faggot…?

by Anonymousreply 505/04/2021

R5: r4 is one more hetero troll cunt to add to the ignore list.

by Anonymousreply 605/04/2021

He was a republican until outed and a conservative like Trump at that.

by Anonymousreply 705/04/2021

R7 Interesting 🤔

by Anonymousreply 805/04/2021

Oh, guuuuuuurrrrlll

by Anonymousreply 905/04/2021

He’s a decent guy who is actually a much better public servant than the last two governors.

by Anonymousreply 1005/04/2021

Wonder how Charlie Crist gets away in 2021 with playing straight. He must have been super closeted and not very sexually active because he came up in politics at a time where there were no cell phones and a lot of anonymity for gay guys.

by Anonymousreply 1105/04/2021

Florida Governor Val Demings has a nice ring to it. She can be next door to Georgia Governor Stacey Abrams. We'll reshape the Confederacy one way or another.

by Anonymousreply 1205/04/2021

At least running for governor means he can’t run for re-election to Congress.

by Anonymousreply 1305/04/2021

So the Russiapublicans are paying him to run and lose against Desantis.

by Anonymousreply 1405/04/2021

Val Demings should run for the Senate.

by Anonymousreply 1505/05/2021

I guess Dems think they can’t win in Florida anymore.

by Anonymousreply 1605/05/2021

Is he actually out or is this gonna be Episode #2 of Closet Cases Gone Wild: Florida, After the Governor's Race?

This time it should be a passel of barely legal pool boys instead of hookers whores and drug.

by Anonymousreply 1705/05/2021

r17 he came out, switched parties and ran for senate and got beat by Little Marco Rubio. He is a pariah, he cannot win.

by Anonymousreply 1805/05/2021

This shoulda been mines..

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by Anonymousreply 1905/05/2021

R18, Crist is not out. He filed for divorce from his wife and reversed his previous opposition to gay marriage, but he has not said he is gay yet.

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by Anonymousreply 2005/07/2021

r15, true.

by Anonymousreply 2105/07/2021

So FL Dems must have just given up on this race. Is there anyway they can recruit a late 30s white or Cuban veteran to run? Play the Biden card and fight fire with fire. Charlie is all over the place and lost two statewide races in a row.

by Anonymousreply 2205/07/2021

Democrats have given up on 22, I think.

by Anonymousreply 2305/07/2021

I live in Florida and I think Charlie can win. But I don't think he will come out of the closet or talk about being gay ... he will let the Republicans do that for him. The Republicans need to have an ugly culture war wedge issue to spook the voters into fear-based action. "We don't wanna have some fag governor, do we?"

by Anonymousreply 2405/07/2021

Crist will lose.

by Anonymousreply 2505/07/2021

[quote] "We don't wanna have some fag governor, do we?"

You just couldn’t resist. What would Datalounge be without the f-word?

by Anonymousreply 2605/07/2021

I support Demings

by Anonymousreply 2705/07/2021

Democrats need a black or studly Latino to win. White guys can’t get the democratic base out to vote in Florida

by Anonymousreply 2805/07/2021

Sure. ^

by Anonymousreply 2905/07/2021

Even long-term popular Democratic Senator Bill Nelson was unable to hold on in 2018.

by Anonymousreply 3005/07/2021

I think Trump Republicans will do well next year. Very well.

by Anonymousreply 3105/07/2021

This probably means Pelosi loses yet another House seat next year

by Anonymousreply 3205/07/2021

R32, yeah, it's a risky (and selfish) move by Crist.

by Anonymousreply 3305/07/2021

The Democrats have not begun 22, yet.

Keeping powder dry.

by Anonymousreply 3405/07/2021

Noo, R34. Not going to be good. Throw out the Equality Act, count me in.

by Anonymousreply 3505/07/2021

If Democrats lose the House next year, which I anticipate, what would that mean for the Biden administration?

by Anonymousreply 3605/07/2021

Existential debasement, Rose.

by Anonymousreply 3705/07/2021

Be serious kween.

by Anonymousreply 3805/07/2021

R29, dear, he lost which kind of proves the point you're trying to counter.

by Anonymousreply 3905/07/2021

Yes, kween at R39. The studly black man lost.

[quote]Democrats need a black or studly Latino to win.

by Anonymousreply 4005/07/2021

R32 this is Pelosi’s final term. She’ll announce either before the election or retire after soon after. She won’t be seeking the speaker’s chair. Everyone in DC knew this. Nancy would have left around 2018 if Hillary had won but felt she needed to stay and add some continuity on the Dem House side. She fought like hell to make Trump’s life miserable and kept the House Dems in check.

I will miss the old gurl but she’s done a fine job serving this nation and deserves a break from the madness. January 6th also shook her to her core. Not that she’s let MAGAs drive her out of town.

by Anonymousreply 4105/07/2021

[quote]old gurl

by Anonymousreply 4205/07/2021

[quote] White guys can’t get the democratic base out to vote in Florida.

Neither did a certain non-white woman at the top of the ticket.

by Anonymousreply 4305/07/2021

That's So Florida, Episode #234

Democrats, having failed when running a closeted gay man, Andrew Gillum, for governor, set their sights on a closeted white man, Charlie Crist

Just let Nikki Fried run. She'll win all the old Jews who always turn out for Democrats and DLers can lust over her fiancee

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by Anonymousreply 4405/07/2021

Polls released yesterday show DeathSantis with a 6-7 point comfy lead. If he gets swept up in Gaetzgate, that could change. Nikki Fried and Crist polled one point ahead of Demings. Gee - why could that be?

by Anonymousreply 4505/07/2021

[quote]Democrats need a black or studly Latino to win.

At least those that don't PNP.

by Anonymousreply 4605/07/2021

Democrats gonna lose again!

2022 Florida Governor GE:

DeSantis (R-inc) 51% (+10) Crist (D) 41% . DeSantis (R-inc) 51% (+12) Fried (D) 39% . DeSantis (R-inc) 53% (+15) Demings (D) 38%

Cherry Communications/@FlChamber, 602 LV, 4/30-5/8

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by Anonymousreply 47Last Wednesday at 9:30 AM

Charlie Crist is like an annoying gnat. He is constantly popping up randomly in Florida elections, taking away momentum from other, better prospective democratic candidates. This time its Val Demmings. I honestly think is a republican operative.

by Anonymousreply 48Last Wednesday at 12:13 PM

R44 Jake looks fun.

by Anonymousreply 49Last Wednesday at 12:26 PM

r30 Nelson was never popular. And an atrocious campaigner. Thought of campaigning as something you did in the three months leading up to election day. Totally ignored grass roots, Democratic, black and ethnic groups until it was too late.

by Anonymousreply 50Last Wednesday at 7:08 PM

That attitude and style is not only indicative of Nelson, but also a lot of Democrats who fail to do retail, Main Street campaigning

by Anonymousreply 51Last Wednesday at 7:11 PM

Is DeSantis‘ term up already??

by Anonymousreply 52Last Wednesday at 7:13 PM

Will Jason Wetherington come forward?

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by Anonymousreply 53Last Wednesday at 7:14 PM

[quote]Nelson was never popular.

He must have been somewhat popular -- he was in office for 3 decades.

by Anonymousreply 54Last Thursday at 3:53 AM

Well, r54, everyone has the right to believe facts . . . or something they read on the internet.

by Anonymousreply 55Last Thursday at 8:56 AM
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