Charlie Crist Democratic governor announcement; in St. Petersburg, Crist launches new governor campaign

12:28 PM, Nov 4, 2013   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- Charlie Crist made it official on Monday: the St. Pete High School grad announced he's running for a second term as governor, but for the first time as a Democrat.

The announcement was made at Albert Whitted Park in Downtown St. Petersburg. It marks the end to one of America's most publicized political shifts.

A Republican governor just four years ago, Crist immediately becomes the frontrunner in the Democratic Party's primary.

Crist has said it's really the political parties that have shifted, with the Republican Party moving far to the right of his beliefs. He says he's a moderate, and that's what Independent and Democratic voters all want in the governor's mansion.

What Democrats also want is to unseat Governor Rick Scott.

Scott, a Republican, is a Tea Party favorite who continues to poll as one of the least popular governors in the country.

Here's a timeline we've put together of Crist's move from red to blue.

November 2006
- Crist was elected governor as a Republican.

May 2009
- He announced he would not run for re-election as governor. Instead, he entered the race as the Republican frontrunner for the U.S. Senate seat Mel Martinez was leaving.

April 2010
- In the Senate race, Crist was trailing Marco Rubio for the Republican nomination after Rubio had grabbed tremendous support from the far-right of the Republican Party. Crist became an Independent candidate.

November 2010
- Crist lost the three-way Senate election.

December 2012
- He officially joined the Democratic Party.

November 2013
- This past Friday, Crist filed the paperwork to run for governor as a Democrat.

Former Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich has also entered the race for the Democratic nomination.

She argued to 10 News' Preston Rudie that Crist has changed his position "on every single issue."

Just in time for the announcement, Gov. Scott's political committee has started airing ads about Crist on Monday morning.

The commercial, called "Opportunist," is filled with quotes from prominent Democrats questioning Charlie Crist.

Scott's committee is spending more than $500,000 to run it in ten cities across Florida.

The primary election is August 26th and the general election is one year from Monday, on November 4th, 2014.

Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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