Representative Charlie Crist met with the Lake County Democratic Party on Thursday
MOUNT DORA – US Representative Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg is campaigning for another term as governor of Florida.
And on Thursday, he made a stop in Lake County.
Crist, the former Florida Republican governor who left the GOP, announced his candidacy for governor in the 2022 race on Tuesday, becoming the first leading Democrat to announce an offer to bring down incumbent Governor Ron DeSantis.
Crist met with members of the Lake County Democratic Party on Thursday evening, saying his mission was to defeat DeSantis.
“I’m strengthening all of us by talking about who the opponent is,” Crist said. “Defeating DeSantis is the mission. This is what we have to do to get our state back so that we have a governor who has a heart again, who cares about you as a person.”
Controversial electoral law:DeSantis signs controversial Florida election law as 2022 approaches
Crist did not mention his fellow Democrats who could run in the 2022 election. Instead, he has targeted DeSantis and the Republican Party as insensitive to the community and out of touch with voters’ concerns.
“These elections are about people, and I’m running against a guy who I think doesn’t care a lot about people,” Crist said. “I think he cares more about his political future than about people.”
He also said the current administration “denies, delays and divides,” citing DeSantis’ choice to sign a controversial election law at a conference in an interview with Fox News Channel on Thursday morning.
DeSantis, who is due for re-election in 2022, signed the measure live from a West Palm Beach hotel after speaking at an event hosted by Club 45 USA, which is a former President Trump fan club.
Crist hit back at DeSantis’ latest move, highlighting obstacles the law raises for postal voting and calling his recent efforts to promote anti-democracy.
This will be Crist’s third campaign for governor.
After winning his first race in 2006 as a GOP candidate, he made an unsuccessful bid for the US Senate in 2010. He then ran for governor again – this time as a Democrat – in 2014 against the outgoing Rick Scott. He lost by 1 percentage point.
Now the congressman represents the Tampa Bay area in Washington.
Crist told supporters on Thursday his administration would focus on the franchise, tackling the threat of climate change to Florida’s environment and investing in education. He also expressed his opposition to DeSantis’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
“Charlie Crist understands that central Florida is going to be very important for him to be elected,” said Greg Wilhelm, chairman of the Lake County Democratic Party. “I think that’s why he took the time and effort to be in Lake County because he knows he needs us to win.”