MIAMI — Representative Charlie Crist, Democrat of Florida, entered the race for governor on Tuesday, changing into the primary challenger to Ron DeSantis, a Republican who raised his profile throughout the pandemic and is now one of many best-known governors within the nation and a main contender for his get together’s presidential nomination in 2024.
“Today, Florida has a governor that’s only focused on his future, not yours,” Mr. Crist stated in a video posted on Twitter, forward of a deliberate announcement later within the morning in his hometown of St. Petersburg.
Mr. Crist has a lengthy political historical past in Florida and is extensively identified all through the state. He served as governor as a Republican from 2007 to 2011 earlier than working unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate as an unbiased, shedding to Marco Rubio. After switching events, he later misplaced a Democratic bid for governor in 2014 against the incumbent, Rick Scott.
But Mr. Crist’s expertise is unlikely to discourage different Democratic candidates. His clout has been diminished by years of electoral failures and by a get together that’s more and more open to a wider vary of extra numerous public figures to be its customary bearers. Two girls, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Representative Val Demings of Orlando, are contemplating their very own Democratic runs for the governor’s mansion.
In advance of Mr. Crist’s announcement, Mr. DeSantis held an official occasion Monday in St. Petersburg, touting the wins he racked up throughout the annual legislative session that concluded final week — a session that he and Republicans in charge of the Legislature used to champion insurance policies that will enchantment to Florida’s more and more conservative voters.