Charlie Crist (above) has hired Bill Hyers to run his campaign for Florida governor.(REUTERS/Jason Reed/Files)

NEW YORK--Fresh from running Bill de Blasio's successful, come-from-behind New York City mayoral race, strategist Bill Hyers has signed on to manage Charlie Crist's Florida gubernatorial campaign.

"The people of Florida need to be back in charge, and Bill is going to help us make that happen,” Crist said. “He’s talented, has roots in the sunshine state, and he knows how to win."

The Florida contest will be one of the most closely watched in the nation. Crist is attempting a political comeback as a Democrat after suffering a resounding defeat in a 2010 U.S. Senate race that saw him drop out of the Republican primary and run as an independent. Crist, a former Florida governor, is challenging incumbent, Rick Scott, a conservative Republican and staunch critic of the new health-care law, in the November 2014 election.

"I couldn't be more thrilled to head down to Florida and help Governor Crist return the governor's office to the people," Hyers said.

Hyers, whose star has risen considerably since the New York election, has long been associated with left-of-center candidates. Besides guiding de Blasio's win, he has managed winning campaigns for Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and for U.S. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-N.Y.). Hyers has also served as a state and regional campaign director in the presidential campaigns of President Obama.