Charlie Crist resigns from Congress as he campaigns for Florida governor

Source: Hot Air

Will anyone notice? Democrat Rep. Charlie Crist resigned from Congress and his resignation is effective as of end of business Wednesday. He represented Florida’s 13th Congressional District. He is running in the Florida gubernatorial election against the incumbent, Republican Ron DeSantis.

He may as well call it quits. His time in the House has been undistinguished. Crist is a backbencher who only makes the news when he says something stupid as he tries to get his old job back as governor of Florida. He needs all the help he can get in focusing on the race against DeSantis.

He told the Tampa Bay Times that it was “an honor and a privilege” to serve as a representative to Florida’s 13th Congressional District. “But these achievements start and end with you, the people – my bosses – who have guided my work in Congress since Day One,” Crist said in the statement.

The seat will remain vacant until the November election. A Trump-backed Republican candidate, Anna Paulina Luna, and the Democrat candidate, former Obama aide Eric Lynn, will face off in that election. Crist also leaves the House with one less Democrat in the majority, bringing the number of Democrats to 219. There are 211 Republicans in the House.

Crist won the Democrat primary a week ago and since then he has made some missteps that are puzzling. He made headlines with a comment the next day when he said to DeSantis supporters, “I don’t want your vote.” No problem, Charlie. Crist opined that DeSantis and his supporters are hateful people and he’s all about love and unicorns and puppies, or something.

DeSantis responded to Crist’s remarks on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” saying the comments were “contemptible” while also calling Crist a “typical career politician.”

You’d think for someone who’s been in public office as long as Crist that he’d be a little more savvy. He served as Florida’s governor from 2007 to 2011. In 2012 he switched parties when Republicans tired of him in. He was elected to the House in 2016 and has been there since 2017. He hasn’t done anything noteworthy.

Crist was first elected to represent Florida’s 13th District, including his hometown of St. Petersburg, in 2016 after a bruising and expensive race against then-Rep. David Jolly, a Republican. He was re-elected in 2018 and 2020 with strong majorities.

Crist’s time in the US House marked ​a return to elected office for the long-time Florida politician after losing statewide races for US Senate in 2010 as an Independent and for governor as a Democrat in 2014. He previously served as a Republican state lawmaker, attorney general and governor.

Crist announced in May 2021 that he would forgo a campaign for a fourth term and would instead set his sights on a return to the governor’s mansion. At the time, Crist seemed to be giving up a safely Democratic seat, but the 13th District was dramatically changed during the redistricting process into one that former President Donald Trump would have carried by 7 points in 2020.

DeSantis will win re-election. As of today, FiveThirtyEight has DeSantis up by six points. Crist has been behind on all the polling except one back at the end of May where he was up by one point.

Crist picked a real beauty of a running mate. He chose Karla Hernandez-Mats, the president of the teachers union in Miami who demanded DeSantis keep public schools closed during the pandemic. Wow. Not only will that not gain any conservative votes but he’ll lose Independent voters with that bone-headed move, too. Read the room, Charlie. Parents of school-aged children are over the authoritarian ways of teacher unions.

We’ll see how ole Charlie does in this statewide race. DeSantis appears to be bulletproof at this point.