Charlie Crist announces run for Florida governor in 2022, speaks in St. Petersburg

Reporter: Morgan Rynor Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
Florida U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist (D) talks to WINK News during a video call. Former Gov. Crist served as a Republican during his time at the governor’s office. He told WINK News Thursday, Feb. 18, he is considering a run as a Democrat for the governor’s seat in the next Florida gubernatorial election. (Credit: WINK News)

Former Florida governor and current congressman Charlie Crist announced Tuesday, via Twitter, that he is running for governor once again.

WINK News spoke with Crist about his top priorities within this race.

Crist didn’t exactly surprise anyone with Tuesday’s announcement that he’s running for Governor of Florida.

“I’m announcing today that I am running for Governor of Florida, for a Florida for all,” Crist said during his press conference.

Th once Republican Governor of Florida decided he wanted his job back.

Years ago, he changed parties. He is now a Democratic Congressman representing Pinellas County.

Crist is not a fan of the job current Governor Ron DeSantis is doing. “How many lives would have been saved if Governor Desantis had listened to the scientists and medical experts?” he wondered.

“This is a governor who doesn’t listen, who doesn’t care, and doesn’t think about you unless of course you can write him a campaign check,” said Crist.

Crist did say in a one-on-one conversation with WINK News reporter Morgan Rynor that he isn’t worried about DeSantis’ advantages in fundraising.

“We go door to door. We talk to people. We go to cookouts as long as COVID-19 is in the rearview mirror,” Crist said.

Crist believes that, in time, his to-do list will win over DeSantis’ supporters.

Civil rights are at the top of that to-do list. “Peaceful protestors, women and their right to choose, and the LGBTQ community. and we will expand Medicaid, making affordable healthcare a human right,” he said.

Also on said list, there is climate change, legalizing marijuana and banning assault weapons.

“They want more freedom. Governor Desantis is taking it away from them,” Crist said.

Crist says he wouldn’t have decided to run if he didn’t think he could win.

If Crist wins the Democratic primary, he will face incumbent Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in the general election in 2022. Election day for governor is 18 months away.

Crist’s decision to run for governor does not come without risks for Democrats. The party held a narrow lead in the House of Representatives and Crist’s decision to run could put his seat in play for Republicans.

He did say he believes there are “several” good Democrats to run in his place but would not name them.

Crist spoke to supporters in St. Petersburg following the social media announcement.

Watch below or click here.

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