TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., has new endorsements and is back on television following a post-primary hiatus.
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights group, was among several announcing they would support Crist's bid for governor.
It happened during a press event in Wilton Manors on Wednesday.
Crist, a Democrat, is trying to oust Republican incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis in November.
"Gov. Ron DeSantis is one of the most anti-LGBTQ+ politicians in America and an existential threat to every LGBTQ+ person in Florida," Joni Madison, interim president of HRC, said in a statement. "The rights of millions of Floridians are being rolled back by him and an extremist minority of anti-equality judges and politicians attacking our families, our right to vote, and our right to access healthcare and make decisions about our own bodies."
The HRC called Crist a "proven champion" during a Wednesday press event, and vowed to mobilize two million voters to back his effort.
Crist also returned to the airwaves this week.
He has a new television advertisement hitting DeSantis for high property insurance costs and limiting abortion access. It comes after Crist spent weeks trying to replenish funds lost in the primary, though he suggested his time off air didn't hurt him.
"This is really weird," Crist said. "Since we've been off the air, and he has saturated the airwaves, we've gone up [in the polls]. It's weird, but I guess people know the product, and they don't like it."
A late August AARP poll of 1,600 Floridians had Crist down only three points to DeSantis.
The governor still has a huge lead in funding. Through Sept. 2, the latest state reports show the DeSantis campaign and its committee combined had more than $122 million on hand. Crist was around $4 million.
That's money DeSantis is using to remain front and center. Advertisements from both his campaign and the Florida GOP tout the governor's record, the state’s economy and tie Crist to President Joe Biden.
The Republican Governors Association also attacked Crist for his support of the Inflation Reduction Act in a Wednesday statement. Officials said federal spending was the cause of the nation’s high prices.
"Just over a month ago, Charlie Crist went on TV and told Floridians there was no recession and dismissed concerns about rising prices," RGA spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez said in a statement. "And from the moment Biden was sworn in, Crist has stood in lockstep with him on his tax and spending spree, which has caused the pain and suffering Floridians are fed up and ticked off with."