Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) announced in a video that he’s running for his old job of governor again, this time as a Democrat.
“Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist officially launches his comeback campaign for his old job early next week — his third bid for the office but the first as a likely underdog in what could be a crowded field,” Politico reports.
“Now a Democratic congressman, Crist is the biggest name to announce his candidacy but by no means the most talked-about. Democratic insiders are buzzing more about Rep. Val Demings running, and some former Crist loyalists are planning to work for her or for Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the only state-level elected Democrat, who has been preparing for months to challenge Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.”
Playbook: “It’s sounding increasingly likely that Rep. Val Demings wants to run against Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2022, according to two sources who have spoken with her about it and two more who have been briefed on her conversations with donors and top Democrats.”
Said one source: “At this point, it’s more likely than not that she does run. And if she does, it’s almost definitely running for governor.”
“That puts Demings on a collision course with former governor and fellow Rep. Charlie Crist, who is expected to announce his own gubernatorial campaign as early as Tuesday.”
Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) has opened a political committee which would allow him to start raising money for a 2022 state-level election, Florida Politics reports.
“According to multiple sources close to Crist, the Republican Governor-turned-Democratic Congressman has made a stream of calls to Florida leaders — local elected officials, donors, and activists — to gauge their support for another 2022 gubernatorial campaign.”
Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) said she’s “seriously considering” a statewide bid against Sen. Marco Rubio (R) or Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), “boosting Democratic hopes in a battleground state that’s growing increasingly red,” Politico reports.
Said Demings: “I’ve received so many calls and texts and emails, and have been stopped when I’m out and about by people who are asking me that very same question. Matter of fact, they think I should run for statewide office and maybe challenge the governor, or challenge Sen. Rubio next year. I’m seriously considering a statewide run. And we’ll see what happens.”
“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has tapped a veteran national Republican political operative to help spearhead his 2022 reelection race,” Politico reports.
“Until now, DeSantis had yet to build out a 2022 political apparatus. The governor, who has seen in his national profile grow in recent weeks, has generally kept a small circle of advisers, which includes his wife, Casey.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) profile is growing, and Nikki Fried (D) has noticed, Politico reports.
“As DeSantis quickly becomes the national conservative media’s favorite governor and basks in recent polling that his approval rating is above 50 percent, the state’s agriculture commissioner is trying to increase her profile ahead of a likely gubernatorial run. She’s hired a top-tier Democratic consultant, is plotting high-profile attacks on DeSantis and growing her presence both on social media and national cable shows.”
“The jockeying as DeSantis’ star rises suggests that Fried, Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat, is trying to solidify herself as her party’s best shot at knocking off DeSantis in 2022, an election cycle that is expected to feature a crowded Democratic primary field.”
“Florida Democrats are a mess and have spent the past year stumbling from one crisis to another. That doesn’t mean they lack potential candidates who want to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis next year,” Politico reports.
“A string of electoral losses, an internal schism over the leadership of the state party and a series of self-inflicted public relations debacles, such as applying for pandemic relief funds, have demoralized local operatives, staff and rainmakers. But ousting the Republican governor is one of the few unifying forces for Democrats — a mantra that has fueled an ever-expanding field of those angling to take on DeSantis in 2022.”
Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) told the Washington Post she is open to the possibility of running for Florida governor or U.S. Senate in 2022.
Said Demings: “I certainly would not talk about any private conversations that I’m having. But as I said, there’s plenty of work to do in the House right now. If that would take me to another campaign, then I’m keeping that door open.”
Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) told CBS Miami he would not rule out a run against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in 2022.
Former Rep. David Jolly is “strongly considering” a run for Florida governor in 2022 as an independent, Axios reports.
Tampa Bay Times: “Since the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, what appears to be an unusual number of Republicans in the three biggest Tampa Bay area counties have switched parties, mostly to no party affiliation, but some becoming Democrats.”
“News reports in Florida and nationwide have noted a similar phenomenon elsewhere, with voters citing anger at President Donald Trump and his supporters.”
Former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) indicated that he’s considering a run for Florida Governor or the U.S. Senate in 2022, but not as a Republican, Florida Politics reports.
Said Jolly: “I left the GOP and am not returning.”
“Andrew Gillum (D) is a focal point of a recently issued federal grand jury subpoena that demands information on the former Democratic candidate for governor, his campaign, his political committee, a wealthy donor, a charity he worked for and a former employer,” the Tampa Bay Times reports.
“Throughout his campaign last year, Gillum insisted that he was not a target of a sprawling FBI investigation of Tallahassee city hall, which has taken at least three years and resulted in three arrests… But the recent one does.”
“It was a moment lost on Election Night. As newly elected Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) faced a blockade of TV cameras in Orlando, he told reporters that he had been misunderstood, or ‘unfairly demagogued,’ by political rivals and the media,” the Tampa Bay Times reports.
“At the end of a bitter campaign in which he cast himself as an uncompromising conservative who reveled in his support from President Trump, DeSantis said he was eager to move on and work with those who had tried to defeat him.”
“Three months later, his short time in office has already shattered assumptions that he would govern exclusively from the right. He has drawn unexpected praise from Republicans and Democrats.”
Politico: “Tensions between the old governor and the new governor had been simmering under the surface for more than a month, but it burst into public view Tuesday after Scott abruptly left his successor’s inauguration ceremony, leading DeSantis to ad lib the parts of his speech in which he planned to personally thank Scott.”
“DeSantis’ team knew Scott would need to leave the ceremony at some point to attend his own Senate swearing in ceremony in Washington but were surprised when the former governor didn’t stay for the speech. DeSantis loyalists were already miffed that Scott’s political committee decided to throw a ball in Washington to celebrate his installation in the U.S. Senate that overlapped with the traditional inaugural celebration for the governor in Tallahassee.”
“Those slights followed two other perceived insults Friday, when the governor made more than 70 appointments without consulting DeSantis.”
“I know that I’m not done to elected office. There’s something in me that still says I have a role to play going forward as a policy maker.”
— Failed Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum (D), in an interview with McClatchy.
“Andrew Gillum conceded Florida’s governor’s race on Saturday as a recount of ballots neared its end, and the Democrat congratulated Republican former Rep. Ron DeSantis on becoming the state’s next governor,” Reuters reports.
Tampa Bay Times: “According to an analysis by the nonpartisan group FairVote, which advocates for electoral reforms that make it easier to vote, out of 4,687 statewide general elections between 2000 and 2016, just 26 went to a recount.”
“Of those 26, just three recounts wound up changing the initial result of the race: The 2004 Washington governor’s race, the 2006 Vermont state auditor’s race and the 2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate race. The average swing in those three elections after the recounts? About 311 votes. … Essentially, Nelson — and to a greater extent, Gillum — would need a systematic error to be discovered during their recounts if their results are to be reversed.”