DeSantis' Democratic Opponent Gets Brutal News from 37 Former Colleagues and Staffers the Day After 'Debate Debacle'


For Florida Democrats, the news just keeps getting worse.

Former Gov. Charlie Crist – the Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat – has been running behind in the polls throughout his campaign to unseat GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis in the November election.

And on Tuesday, some of the men and women in the state’s politics who know Crist best just came out to publicly support the guy he’s trying to beat.

In a letter, 37 former aides and close associates of Crist said in no uncertain terms the candidate they think should be the winner of Florida’s nationally watched race for governor.

And it’s DeSantis in a landslide.

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“Together, we have known Charlie in virtually all phases of his career and public life,” the letter said. “We are well-qualified to endorse in the Florida Governor’s race because we have significant experience in public service to the state of Florida.

“The choice this November could not be more clear: we unanimously endorse Governor Ron DeSantis for re-election.”

On one level, the letter is not entirely surprising. The signers are Republicans, members of the party that has dominated Florida politics so far in the 21st century, and the party Crist used to belong to before he was run out of a GOP primary for the Senate in 2010.

(The man who ran him out was now-Sen. Marco Rubio, who is seeking his third term.)

But on another level, it’s telling. The first signature on it belongs to George LeMieux, who not only served as Crist’s own chief of staff but was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Crist during Crist’s term as Sunshine State governor from 2007 to 2011.

The second belongs to Jeff Kottkamp, the lieutenant governor during the Crist administration.

Other big names include former Agriculture Secretary Charles Bronson (not the late Hollywood tough guy, of course) and former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum – both of whom served in the state Cabinet during the Crist years.

The signatories are men and women, in other words, who know Crist the Chameleon, and know he doesn’t have any business being back in control in Tallahassee.

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The news comes after Monday’s debate between DeSantis and Crist, where the Democratic nominee tried to defend transgender surgery for children, according to Fox News.

Pushing transgender issues for minors is not exactly a winning position in a state where the Parental Rights in Education bill had the support of even Democrats. Falsely labeled the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, the law DeSantis signed in March restricts public school teachers from bringing sexuality-themed subjects into the classroom when children are too young to understand them.

And that followed word last week that Crist’s campaign manager had left his post after a domestic-violence-related arrest in Maryland, according to NBC News. (As an aside, imagine what the mainstream media reaction would have been if a Republican candidate challenging a popular Democratic governor had a campaign manager arrested on such a charge.)

The news doesn’t get much better for Crist when it comes from the polls. The latest RealClearPolitics average of polls has DeSantis up by 10 and is projecting a Republican victory.

The fact that Crist is even in the conversation as the Democratic nominee in Florida is an indication of how weak the party is. He built his political career as a Republican being forced out of the party.

In 2014, he won the Democratic nomination to try to defeat then-Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election campaign and lost in a squeaker. Then he won a seat in Congress as a Democrat representing the St. Petersburg area, and apparently plotting his return to power in state politics.

(Any intellectually honest individual who lived in Florida, and especially Tallahassee, during Scott’s years in office could watch the hideously biased mainstream media outlets deliver coverage that had the animosity of the Washington media’s coverage of the Trump administration four years later — if not the 24/7 intensity. It’s doubtful the environment has changed for the better since.)

Do you think Gov. Ron DeSantis will win re-election?

But all Crist has really proved is two things: First, he’s a shameless, spineless political opportunist whose only guiding principle is an unshakeable belief that he should be governor of Florida; and, second, Florida Democrats couldn’t find anyone more palatable than a former Republican power player to represent them in the race against DeSantis.

(Nikki Fried, the Florida agriculture commissioner who was Crist’s chief opponent in the weak Democratic primary field, was clearly a non-starter, despite being an actual Democrat.)

For Florida Democrats, Crist has already shown he’s bad news once.

In the 2022 race, he hasn’t shown any improvement. And now, those who’ve known Crist “in virtually all phases of his career and public life” agree that DeSantis should be the winner in November.

And that means for Democrats in Florida, the news just keeps getting worse.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.