Charlie Crist hints at governor’s run in new video

October 25, 2013

Charlie Crist, the Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democratic former governor of Florida released a new video Friday that suggests he's moving closer to announcing a run against Gov. Rick Scott (R) in 2014.

"When you allowed me to serve as your governor, I worked to be the people's governor every day," Crist says in a 50-second video posted online.

Without ever singling out Scott by name, Crist takes implicit jabs against the Republican's policies on health care, education, women's issues and voting laws.

"I'm an optimist. But let's face it, the past few years have been tough," Crist says.

Crist is widely seen as a likely candidate for governor next year, and the release of his video is the latest sign that he is moving in the direction of a campaign. Democrats eyeing the race say they expect Crist to make an announcement in the coming weeks. The state Democratic Party is holding a a conference this weekend in Orlando, but Democratic officials don't expect Crist to make an announcement there.

The governor of Florida from 2007-2011, Crist made a bid for the U.S. Senate in 2010. His campaign was derailed by the rise of now.-Sen. Marco Rubio (R). As it became apparent Crist wouldn't beat Rubio, he left the GOP to wage an independent bid. In late 2012, after lending a hand to President Obama's reelection campaign, Crist became a Democrat.

Crist has the ability to raise a lot of money, and Democrats say his support for the Obama campaign has earned him praise in the party. His name recognition would make him an instant front-runner for the Democratic nomination.

Scott, who is one of the most vulnerable governors in the country, is expected to spend big to save his job. He put more than $70 million of his own money into his 2010 bid.

The Fix recently rated Florida's gubernatorial seat as the third most likely to switch party control this cycle.

Sean Sullivan covers national politics for “The Fix.”
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Aaron Blake | October 25, 2013