Former Florida governor and current congressman Charlie Crist announced Tuesday, via Twitter, that he is running for governor against Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.
If Crist wins the Democratic primary, he would face incumbent Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in the general election in 2022.
Crist is scheduled to speak in St. Petersburg at 11 a.m. at today to make the formal announcement.
In a tweeted campaign ad, Crist attacked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, saying, “But today, Florida has a governor that’s only focused on his future, not yours.”
He slammed DeSantis saying that he attacked doctors and scientists during the COVID pandemic, focusing on Rebekah Jones, the data scientist fired from her position at the Florida Department of Health last year after she made accusations against the state.
Crist also attacked DeSantis by claiming he blocked health insurance for 800,000 Floridians, refusing to expand Medicaid, and denying pregnant women unemployment benefits.
He continued the accusations, saying that the governor does not support gun background checks or the $15-minimum wage and that he “handed vaccines out to his wealthy contributors” in Lakewood Ranch.
DeSantis “doesn’t listen, doesn’t care and unless you can write him a campaign check, you don’t exist,” Crist said in the campaign ad below.
This will be Crist’s second attempt at winning back the job he held from 2007 to 2011, when he was a Republican. He was the Democratic Party’s nominee for governor in 2014, a race he narrowly lost to Rick Scott.
Crist is the first challenger for what could be a bitter Democratic primary. Rep. Val Demmings and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried – the only Democrat elected statewide – have floated bids of their own, with Demmings already releasing her own campaign video Tuesday, teasing a run for higher office.
DeSantis on Monday spoke in Crist’s hometown of St. Petersburg, touting his pandemic response and an executive order and bill which lifted all remaining coronavirus restrictions and outlawed vaccine passports, respectively.
He is also set to sign a sweeping election overhaul bill with the aim of keeping future elections in the state secure. Critics have alleged that the bill will strip voting rights away from legal Florida voters.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is also up for reelection next year, meaning that the country’s most populous swing state could have two high-profile, expensive statewide races.
Other News: Terry Shilling: Joe Biden’s Plan For Government To Replace The Family