Get ready for Charlie Crist: The sequel.
According to the Orlando Sentinel on Nov. 2, Charlie Crist, the former Republican who occupied the governor's chair in Tallahassee from 2006 until 2010, has thrown his name into the hat of contenders looking to unseat Florida Republican governor Rick Scott.
And this, he will run as a Democrat.
Crist will formally announce his nomination in St. Petersburg on Nov. 4. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, who was the top Democrat in the Florida House of Representatives when Crist was in office, told the Sentinel:
The race begins. Up until now, there has been a lot of campaigning, but there has not been a race. I think it's officially election season.
Before he made it known that he was entering the governor's race, Crist was waging a shadow campaign, releasing YouTube videos attacking Scott and Republicans in the Florida legislature. Members of both parties indicate that Crist's announcement vaults Florida's governor's race as the No. 1 contest in the country for the 2014 midterm elections.
Democrats, and many Republicans, see Crist as the only candidate that has a great chance to unseat Scott, who rode into Tallahassee during the great red tide of 2010. Fort Lauderdale lawyer-lobbyist Justin Sayfie, who was an aid to former Gov. Jeb Bush, told the Sentinel:
It portends something we haven't seen yet in Florida politics, just when we thought we've seen it all. There's no textbook case study to understand how Florida voters will evaluate Governor Crist's candidacy.
The transformation of Charlie Crist the Republican to Charlie Crist the Democrat began in 2009, when he hugged then-newly elected Democratic president Barack Obama during his visit to the state. At the time, Crist was seen as a surefire bet to be the Republican nominee for the U.S Senate in 2010. When it became obvious that he would lose the nomination to Marco Rubio, he ran for Senate is an independent. Crist would lose the general election to Rubio in large part to the ascendancy of the tea party in 2010.
In 2012, Crist stumped the state on behalf of Obama's re-election campaign and later on turned up at a White House Christmas party. Before the November election, Crist had announced that he was a now a Democrat.
If Crist is successful in his bid to reclaim his old job, he would become the first governor in U.S history to win a governor's race in which the former governor switched parties and unseat his successor.
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