Charlie Crist Just Going to Run for Congress Now

Charlie Crist Just Going to Run for Congress Now
Photo by Neon Tommy | Flickr CC2.0

Sometimes it seems like Florida only has like five actual politicians. It doesn't matter if you keep losing races. You can just keeping running for things until you actually win something, and apparently there will be big-time donors and your party's establishment there to support you. People are actually talking about David McCollum, the former one-term attorney general who has lost two races for U.S. Senate and another for governor — and perhaps the biggest loser in recent Florida political history — as a possible Marco Rubio replacement. 

Charlie Crist, too, seems primed for a comeback. The Palm Beach Post reports the former governor is going to jump into a congressional race next week. 

Of course, when dealing with Crist the question must be asked what party he'll actually be running with, but it appears there's no going back and he's sticking with the D behind his name. 

Christ will run for what's currently known as District 13 and constitutes most of the Pinellas County suburbs of St. Petersburg. 

The seat is currently held by Republican David Jolly, but Jolly is one of the Republicans now running for Rubio's Senate seat. 

District 13 is also one of the districts that will likely be affected once court-mandated plans to redraw Florida's congressional districts are actually completed. The new district will likely include the actual city of St. Pete along with its closest suburbs, making it much more favorable for Democrats. The Florida Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the new map on November 10. 

A congressional seat is nothing to sneeze at, but it is a relatively modest office to seek for a man whose political future once seemed so bright. 

Crist rose through the ranks of the Florida legislature as a Republicans and eventually served as that party's sacrificial lamb candidate against incredibly popular incumbent Democratic Senator Bob Graham in 1996. Naturally, he lost the race, but it did set him up with greater name recognition and connections to a donor base. He reemerged in 2000 as Florida's education commissioner and then was elected as attorney general in 2002.

He eventually reached the governor mansion in 2007, succeeding Jeb Bush, and served as a uniquely popular governor with surprisingly broad popularity, even among many Democrats. In fact, Crist, governing as a moderate, got so friendly with Democrats he hugged President Barack Obama in 2008 during a joint appearance. He got labeled a RINO, tried to run for Senate in 2010, and famously switched to an independent when it became apparent Marco Rubio would win the Republican primary. It was a stunning fall for a guy who was reportedly on the short list to be John McCain's running mate. Christ would go on to lose the race for Senate, before he reappeared in 2014 to run for governor as a Democrat and somehow pulled off the amazing feat of failing to defeat deeply unpopular incumbent Rick Scott. 

And here he is now, reportedly set to announce his candidacy for congress next week. Crist was mentioned as a possible candidate for the Democratic nomination for Senate, but is apparently setting his sights lower. 

Of course, this is Charlie Crist and his ambitions know no bounds. If Bill Nelson decided to retire before his 2018 reelection, no one would be surprised to see Crist emerge as a candidate then. In the meantime, it seems he'd maybe like to actually win a race again before making his third attempt at the U.S. Senate. 


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