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Charlie Crist is eyeing a run for governor again. Florida Democrats might not care.

Crist, a two-term congressman who served because the state’s governor greater than a decade in the past, hasn’t formally jumped into the race. However he’s reached out to political consultants, main donors equivalent to famed legal professional John Morgan, long-time mates like Broward Mayor Steve Geller and different politicians about whether or not he ought to attempt to reclaim the job he as soon as held. Alongside the best way, a few of his previous allies are starting to work with different potential Democratic candidates.

When requested whether or not he’s the correct candidate for now, Crist retorts: “I acquired two phrases: Joe Biden. Have a look at what occurred in our final election.”

Although Biden managed to win the Democratic nomination and presidency, he misplaced to President Donald Trump in Floridax, and the GOP picked up each congressional and legislative seats in an election that some view as proof that Florida is dropping its status because the nation’s largest battleground state.

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Crist’s political evolution over the previous three a long time has proven he is a survivor. As a Republican, he went from state senator to legal professional common to profitable the governor’s race in 2006. A part of his ascent included a tough-on-crime persona that earned him the nickname “Chain Gang Charlie.” He was seen a rising star and was even talked about as a attainable working mate with John McCain.

However as an alternative of anticipating the anger that triggered the Tea Celebration motion, Crist made the ill-fated choice to (actually) embrace then-President Barack Obama and reward him for the stimulus bundle that was pushed via through the Nice Recession. Inside a few years, Crist grew to become an unbiased, misplaced a U.S. Senate race to Marco Rubio and was briefly out of politics earlier than switching events and working for governor once more.

Crist’s pathway to a different statewide election is more likely to be a lot completely different this time round. As an alternative of a main the place he is challenged by a lone Democratic lawmaker, he could possibly be going up in opposition to a line of contenders, together with present Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried.

Geller, a former state legislator and somebody who has recognized Crist since they each have been at Florida State College, mentioned he worries that Crist and one or two different centrist candidates from the Biden wing of the celebration would break up the vote and permit a progressive to win the first solely to lose the final election.

“I like Nikki (Fried),” Geller mentioned. “If Charlie is not working, I may simply assist her. However I believe Charlie’s a stronger candidate as a result of he has run for governor earlier than.”

Morgan, who as soon as employed Crist to work at his well-known legislation agency Morgan & Morgan and stays a shut good friend, mentioned he has cautioned Crist that it gained’t be simple to knock off DeSantis even when he makes it via a Democratic main. Morgan mentioned by the point the 2022 elections come round, the coronavirus pandemic could also be within the “rear view mirror” and criticisms of DeSantis’ dealing with of the disaster could lose their sting.

“DeSantis is a chilly fish and not heat and fuzzy, however do we want heat and fuzzy?” requested Morgan, who not too long ago hosted Crist at his residence in Maui. “I made these arguments to Charlie. What could be your rallying cry? If you find yourself working, you might be asking the citizens to fireplace him for doing a unhealthy job.”

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