Charlie Crist Gets Bad News from Former Colleagues and Staffers

Katherine Welles /

If you know anything about politics in Florida these days, it’s likely that Democrats aren’t doing all that well. Now, to be clear, the same could be said for most states right about now.
However, for Floridians, the case is even more profound, particularly when it comes to the race for the governor’s mansion.

As I am sure you are well aware, current Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is running for re-election. Opposing him is once Republican, then independent, now-Democrat Charlie Crist.

Now, Crist isn’t a stranger to politics or even Florida’s unique politics. In fact, he was already governor in the Sunshine State once before, back when he was a GOP member. Then he tried to join the Senate. Of course, he didn’t make it, as Floridians chose Marco Rubio over him. He then tried to win his back into the governor’s mansion, securing the Democratic nomination. But he lost to then-Governor Rick Scott.

He did finally win a seat in Congress, as a Democrat, representing the St. Petersburg area. But apparently, that’s not been enough for him, as he has recently announced his resignation from that seat to focus more solely on booting out DeSantis.

But that isn’t, and really never was, going all that well.

And that makes a letter by no small number of his former colleagues and staffers released this week all the more disappointing to Florida Dems and Crist.

The letter was written and signed by 37 people who used to work with Crist, most during the time of his first stint as Florida’s governor when he was still a Republican. But what they have to say about the man isn’t exactly praiseworthy, at least not for Crist.

In fact, it’s more like a slap in the face, as the letter clearly states that they endorse Crist’s opponent, Ron DeSantis for governor and not their former co-worker.

“Together, we have known Charlie in virtually all phases of his career and public life. 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.”

Now, there are a few things that should be noted about this letter and its signatories.

Firstly, is that it shouldn’t be all that of a surprise that they are endorsing DeSantis. After all, these are all men and women who served under or with Crist as Republicans. And unlike him, they did not switch sides when an election didn’t go their way.

However, as I just mentioned, they served the state of Florida with or under Crist. One might think this would make them at least slightly loyal to him, or at least feel a bit conflicted about who to vote for or endorse.

Apparently, that’s not the case.

Take the first signature on the letter, for example. It comes from George LeMieux, a man who was not only Crist’s chief of staff but was later appointed and endorsed by Crist to serve in the US Senate. If anyone should owe him something, it’s this guy, right?

And yet, something about Crist makes him want to vote in the exact opposite direction.

The same can be said of numerous other names, such as Crist’s former lieutenant governor Jeff Kottkamp, Charles Bronson (not the actor) and Crist’s Agriculture Secretary, and former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum.

In other words, these are all men and women who knew Crist back in what one might call his glory days, when he was on top, when he was supposedly doing well. And yet each and every one of them is making a very public statement about how he is now the last man they ever want to see in Tallahassee again.

As I said, it doesn’t exactly bode well for the former GOP member, does it? And that’s on top of the complete thrashing he received just a day earlier, on Monday, from DeSantis himself during their latest debate. Additionally, nearly every poll available shows DeSantis ahead by some 10 or more just days ahead of Election Day.

Florida Dems aren’t doing well at all if Crist is any sign of what is to come.