Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) announced Tuesday he will run for Florida Governor, leaving behind his House seat and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to defend her shrinking majority, while giving more momentum for Republicans to regain the House.
Crist, who was previously Governor of Florida, is running to get his old job back as he leaves his vulnerable House seat behind. This will be the third time Crist runs for governor of Florida. During his tenure as governor, Crist switched from Republican to Democrat.
The Democrat will be joining a likely crowded field as more vulnerable Democrat House members in Florida look to leave their seats in hope for the governorship as well.
This will be Crist’s sixth attempt at a bid for statewide office in Florida and his second attempt as a Democrat for governor.
In his announcement, Crist said, “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,” Crist added:
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.
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) May 4, 2021
Crist will be running against incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). Last month, a favorability poll in the Sunshine State found the Republican governor’s approval rating was on the rise at 53 percent, which is an eight-point bump from the 45 percent approval he saw in a July 2020 poll.
With Crist leaving the House behind, Republicans are looking to pick up his seat.
The Republican campaign arm, National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), previously created an “Exit List,” which was comprised of vulnerable Democrats the Republicans are looking to pick off in the midterms.
Crist was one of the House members on the list.
“Charlie Crist can see the writing on the wall,” the NRCC Spokeswoman Camille Gallo said in a statement. “The Democrats’ socialist agenda that includes eliminating private health insurance, trillion-dollar tax hikes, defunding the police, and opening our borders will send his party back to the minority in 2022.”
The NRCC, April battleground survey shows Republicans are projected to regain the House majority in the midterm elections. The survey also found vulnerable Democrats have an uphill battle defending their seats after voting for “Pelosi’s socialist agenda.” In addition, the survey also finds Pelosi is the most unpopular politician in the country, with 56 percent unfavorable.