Charlie Crist announces bid for FL Governor, Scott lands first punch

CREATED Nov 4, 2013

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Former Governor Charlie Crist is back in the public spotlight, announcing his bid to challenge Rick Scott in the 2014 gubernatorial race.

In what’s being called one of politics worst-kept secrets in recent memory, Charlie Crist announced that he wants his old job back.

“So today, I announce that I am running for governor of Florida,” said former Governor Charlie Crist, in front of a packed crowd in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Crist, now reentering into the political arena, will battle head-to-head with current Governor Rick Scott for Florida’s top office in 2014.

“Because you deserve a governor who wakes up everyday thinking about you,” said Crist. Anticipation surrounding Crist’s announcement has been brewing for nearly a year now.

The former governor announced via Twitter back in December he would be crossing party lines – again.

Crist Tweeted, “Proud and honored to join the Democratic Party in the home of President.”

Crist has kept busy since choosing not to run for reelection back in 2011.

Most recently, he began working for Florida super law firm Morgan & Morgan as an attorney handling class action lawsuits.

The former governor joined the law firm after a failed attempt to win a senate seat vacated by U.S. Senator Mel Martinez in 2010.

Crist, running as an Independent, would lose to Republican Marco Rubio.

With Crist back in the spotlight, Governor Rick Scott’s camp is already throwing punches. Scott’s political action committee began running an attack ad in cities across the state today.

The ad quotes Democrats criticizing Crist in previous elections:

Democrat Alex Sink says, "He failed to lay out a business plan to get Florida out of its worst recession."

Democratic chair Karen Thurman said, "He has done nothing to create jobs . . . his only core belief is personal ambition."

"He's an opportunist," says Tampa's Mayor Buckhorn.

Congressman Kendrick Meek says he "can't be trusted."

Al Gore said, "It's a little unusual to have someone flip-flop and . . . then flop-flip."

Who are they all talking about? This man, Charlie Crist.

But that’s not stopping Crist; he says he’s ready to fight back.

“One year from today, we will come back here that night and we will celebrate a great victory,” said Crist.

Before he can celebrate any victory, he will battle former State Senator Nan Rich in a Democratic primary scheduled for August of next year.

If Crist wins the primary, he will then face Governor Scott in the general election taking place a year from today.

Crist served as the 44th Governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011, preceded by Jeb Bush.

Under Bush’s administration, Crist served as Florida attorney general from ’03 to ’07 and education commissioner from ’01 to ’03.