Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist resigns from Congress

Florida’s Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist resigned from Congress on Wednesday, as the three-time congressional Republican is in the home turf of his race against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Krist’s resignation, effective by the end of the working day on Wednesday, comes eight days later. Christ wins Democratic primary decisively For the governor of Florida. Since the House has been a holiday this month, Crist has been on the campaign trail since the Aug. 23 primary.

Although Crist had already announced that he would not seek another term in Congress, Florida’s “resign-to-run” law requires candidates to resign “if the terms or any part of the terms are a- There will be overlap with the other.” DeSantis did so when he resigned his US House seat in the 2018 gubernatorial race.

Crist did not mention his campaign in his resignation letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“During my time in Congress, I have made it a point to treat all people with respect, even if we disagree, while I also stand up for my constituents and be their voice in Washington,” wrote Crist. . “Dedication to service, listening before speaking, treating others the way you want to be treated – these are all things this country and this world need more than ever.”

Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Christo
Florida gubernatorial candidate Rep. Charlie Crist delivers the winning speech at the primary election on August 23, 2022 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Octavio Jones / Getty Images

With Crist’s resignation, and two results from the special elections in New York earlier this month, Democrats now control 220 seats in the House, compared to 212 for Republicans. The two remaining congressional vacancies are in Alaska and Indiana.

The seat vacated by Crist during state redistribution became more favorable for Republicans. In the GOP primary, Trump-backed Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna won the GOP nomination and will face Democrat Eric Lin, a former aide to former President Barack Obama.

Crist was first elected to Florida’s 13th district in 2016 and was the first Democrat to win that seat in 62 years. He looked to model himself as a moderate Democrat, and joined the Blue Dog Coalition and the New Democrat Coalition.

In his letter, he highlighted the work done for experienced remedial courts, the expansion of the solar tax credit, and the creation of a task force to crack down on phishing and scam calls.

Crist served as governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011 as a Republican. He was unsuccessful in the 2010 Senate race as an independent against Republican Marco Rubio and as a Democrat against then-Republican Governor Rick Scott.

His resignation could also fuel some of the GOP’s attacks about his proxy voting record in the US House.

His race against DeSantis has intensified since the primary, although polls have shown it is still an uphill battle. An internal poll by the Democratic Governors Association showed Crist down five points to DeSantis, while one released before the primary from the University of North Florida showed him eight points down. Another, GOP-aligned group from the Florida Chamber of Commerce showed a similar eight-point difference between DeSantis and Crist.

The day after the primary, Krist’s campaign said they had raised more than $1 million dollars. According to the Florida Department of State’s Division of Elections, DeSantis still has a huge fundraiser ahead of this cycle, raising more than $27.6 million. By comparison, Krist’s campaign was last reported to have raised $8.1 million.

At an incident after the primary, Crist called DeSantis an ‘anti-independence Ron’ and that those who supported DeSantis “should stay with him.”

“I don’t want your vote. If you have that hate in your heart, keep it there,” Krist said. “I want the vote of the people of Florida who care about our state: good Democrats, good independents, good Republicans. Unite with this ticket. Those who hate: You’ll go to your world.”

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