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Crist fights to come back, again

Florida’s former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist is aiming to return to the governor's mansion—this time, as a Democrat.
/ Source: MSNBC TV

Florida’s former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist is aiming to return to the governor's mansion—this time, as a Democrat.

Florida’s former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist is aiming to return to the governor's mansion—this time, as a Democrat.

After a failed bid for U.S. Senate as an Independent—Tea Party darling Marco Rubio beat the former governor 49% to 30%—Crist is hoping to capitalize on Americans' poor opinion of their elected officials to get his old job back.

“I’m an optimist but let’s face it, the last few years have been tough: government on the fringes, donors in politics above you the people,” said Crist in a video embedded on charliecrist.com, a site “paid for personally” by Crist himself. “You’ve seen the attacks against full-time working people and their health care; against women and their doctors; against teachers, public schools and college affordability; And even against the simple act of casting your vote. It’s not working."

Crist will file to run on Monday morning in his hometown of St. Petersburg, where he’ll formally declare his ambitions in downtown Straub Park.

In polls over the last year, Crist’s gubernatorial candidacy has looked promising—a Quinnipiac Polling Institute poll sees 50% of voters going for Crist and 34% going for current Republican Gov. Rick Scott, with the remainder undecided. Another poll found Crist leading with 46% of the electorate to Scott’s 41%.  

Crist’s switch was a long-time coming: after jumping ship to become an Independent in 2010, he spoke at the 2012 Democratic convention and endorsed President Obama’s re-election. As a Democrat, Crist will face former state Sen. Nan Rich in a primary challenge, but Rich isn’t expected to pose much of a threat to the former governor.