Previous month:
October 2013
Next month:
December 2013

November 2013

Florida Democrats are desperate for a winner

While the Washington Post reports that Florida Democrats are "desperate for a winner," it is worth noting that Bill Nelson managed to win another term in the U.S Senate last year.

Still, the assessment is essentially correct. Here's a look at some of the early reporting about Charlie Crist's announcement today that he is running for governor as a Democrat against Tea Party Republican Rick Scott.

Florida Democrats are desperate for a winner because they have lost their previous four attempts at the governor’s mansion – including in 2006 to Crist. They have essentially no power in Tallahassee. With Crist, a relatively popular figure, the Democrats begin their race with tens of millions of dollars’ worth of image-making already in the bag. - Peter Wallsten, Washington Post

Get ready for the second coming of Crist. When Charlie Crist stepped to the microphones Monday in St. Petersburg, he instantly changd the dynamics of Florida politics and set in motion a 52-week campaign that could end up making history: a former governor who switches parties and attempts to unseat his successor. - Anthony Man, Sun Sentinel

Get ready for the most-negative Florida governor's race we've ever seen. Yes, we could probably say that every year. But this time it will likely be disproportionately nasty. - Marc Caputo, Miami Herald.

In declaring his candidacy, Crist rolled out a Democratic platform promising increased spending for education and infrastructure and a broad new commitment to renewable energy programs. But he also harkened to his old Republican roots, declaring, "I do believe in cutting taxes," and pledging a new cabinet-level position to promote trade. - Scott Powers, Orlando Sentinel

Crist spoke from a lectern on a small, black stage, facing north, with an American flag, a Florida flag and a huge sign that says THE PEOPLE'S GOVERNOR in white letters on a blue backdrop. -Adam Smith, Tampa Bay Times

Many state Republicans hold a personal grudge after Crist left the party in 2010 to run for U.S. Senate as an independent. He made that party switch after it became clear he was likely going to lose to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in the Republican primary.Soime GOP donors asked for their campaign contributions back, but Crist never gave refunds. - Matt Dixon, Florida Times Union

Charlie Crist was a failure as Governor and is a pure political opportunist who is out for himself. Under Crist, Florida lost over 800,000 jobs, saw their unemployment rate surge from 3.5 percent to 11.1 percent, and experienced a budgetary crisis that left the state sinking faster and faster. - Louisana Gov. Bobby Jindal, chairman of Republican Governors Association.

GOP attacks while Crist says he hopes there is a brighter future tomorrow

Gov. Rick Scott's campaign committee did not waste any time going on the attack. Scott's political committee - Let's Get to Work - is going on the air Monday at the same time Charlie Crist is announcing the start of his 2014 campaign to take the keys to the governor's mansion away from Scott.

Predictably, the ad is using quotes from Democrats who opposed Crist while he was a Republican. After decades of running as a Republican for state Senate, U.S. Senate, Attorney General, Governor, and then as an independent for U.S. Senate, there is no shortage of Democrats questioning Crist's qualifications and stands on the issues.

Today, those same Democrats are in the odd position of viewing Crist as their champion. Tampa Bay Times political writer Adam Smith posted the GOP ad here.

Here is a transcript:

Democrat Alex Sink says: "He failed to layout 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 said: "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.

Al Gore? Really? Why Gore? 

Anyway, when Crowley Political Report spoke to Crist he seemed nonplused by all this. But his best  omment may be what he said to the Associated Press.

"I'm looking forward to Monday and making it official in every way," Crist told the Associated Press Tallahassee Correspondent Brendan Farrington today.  "I just hope that the message that we deliver will lift Florida's spirits and let her know that there's a brighter future tomorrow. And it's coming."

Bright or thing is certain - the next 12 months are going to be hell on the campaign trail. This is gonna be ugly.

Charlie Crist makes it official

Crist cartoon head
Charlie Crist makes it official that he is a Democratic candidate for Florida governor. Crist filed candidate papers with the state Division of Elections today. 

Hat tip to AP's Gary Fineout who first tweeted about Crist filing for election. 

Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida, will annouce his candidacy in St. Petersburg at 10 a.m. Monday. Crist who lost a bid for the U.S. Senate as an independent is making an historic effort to run statewide for the third time 2006 - going from Republican, to independent and now Democrat.

Crist sounded enthusiatic during a phone call Thursday night about the coming campaign. Crist faces a potentional primary challenge from Nan Rich, but so far the former state senator has gained little traction. 

Crist is likely to win the Democratic nomination. Republican Gov. Rick Scott's team certainly seems to think so. The incumbent has waged a steady campaign attacking Crist and Scott's campaign committee is talking about launching a wave of anti-Crist ads beginning Monday - right after Crist announces.

Here's a look at Crist's election file:

Candidate Tracking System

2014 General Election 

Charlie Crist 
1 Beach Drive 
St. Petersburg, FL 33701 

Phone: (727)804-8035
  Campaign Treasurer 
Sanford B. Horwitz 
2121 Ponce De Leon Boulevard 
11th Floor 
Coral Gables, FL 33134
  Status: Active  
  Date Filed: 11/01/2013  
  Date Qualified: