Pinellas County leaders tout Charlie Crist during virtual campaign kick-off

charlie crist
Crist's campaign is becoming a referendum on President Donald Trump.

Several Pinellas County elected leaders are getting behind Charlie Crist —and standing against President Donald Trump.

The Democratic incumbent in Florida’s 13th Congressional District met virtually with supporters Saturday to officially launch his reelection campaign. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Pinellas County Commissioners Ken Welch and Janet Long were on hand to not only praise his work in Washington, but to speak out against national leadership from Trump’s White House. 

Down-ballot candidates, like Crist, often rely on turnout in presidential elections to buoy them to victory. But former Vice President Joe Biden is also counting on down-ballot races, particularly in swing states like Florida, to boost support as he tries to unseat a bombastic President.

Kriseman praised Crist’s efforts on champing climate change during his time as Governor, and criticized Gov. Ron DeSantis’ leadership of the state. 

“Even though we cannot lean on executive leadership in the Oval Office and Tallahassee, know that we are lucky to have a leader in Washington that was fighting for the city,” Kriseman said at the campaign kick-off. 

Welch, who is stepping down to run for St. Pete Mayor next year, praised Crist’s work on the CARES Act.

“I don’t think it’s exaggerating to say that the House of Representatives really has, and the courts to some extent, saved our democracy from the excesses of the Trump administration,” Welch said. “You stood in the gap, Congressman. Right now the county has distributed about $20 million in CARES Act funding that you helped lead.”

Crist is running unopposed in the primary, but will face one of five Republican candidates seeking the GOP nomination to try to flip the seat.

“This is one of those elections where every single vote is going to count,” Crist said.

He called on supporters to not only help buoy him to another term, but also to turn out for former Biden to topple Trump.

“Take everything seriously. I can tell you I am, and I know that you are too, cause we know what’s at stake in this election,” Crist said. “It’s the future of our country, or as Vice President Biden would say, the soul of America.”

Crist’s campaign manager, Sydney Throop, called on supporters to rally support. The campaign, she said, is relying on less traditional strategies, necessitated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which includes voter outreach and wellness checks rather than aggressive politicking. She asked supporters to sign up to volunteer for things like phone and text banking and voter outreach events.

“This is the most important election in recent history,” she said.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


  • S.B. Anthony

    July 25, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    If there’s anyone left in Pinellas by the time this disaster ends, they’d do well to vote a straight Blue ticket.

    • James J Fitzgerald

      July 26, 2020 at 8:17 am

      Well let’s see. What has he done to help everyone with the unemployment. Nothing. What did He do well in office to fix the unemployment problem. NOTHING
      Yes vote no on his ticket.

      • Jp

        July 26, 2020 at 5:10 pm

        Love this socialist progressive liberal post. Crist was a faliure as a governer,. Then when he knew he couldn’t be elected as a senator he flip flopped party’s and was lucky cw. Passed away.
        Crist is for China for Iran for antifa. What he’s not for is the USA.
        Sorry charlie you lost my vote again.

    • Steve Tessitore

      July 27, 2020 at 2:16 am

      And you’ll be voting for. Markist

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 26, 2020 at 8:17 am

    Vote CHARLIE CRIST! The failures of duffus Desantis and pervert #Trumpvirus is criminally negligent ! The goptrump cult perverted sociopaths have to be resoundingly voted out!

    • Andy Strickland

      July 26, 2020 at 10:58 pm

      Yes. Vote chain gang Charlie.! Your Republican turned independent turned Democrat Rep who has yet to think for himself!

  • Kimberly Ann Hutkin

    July 26, 2020 at 9:32 am

    Last year I wrote Crist with a problem I needed help solved was ignored. I’m voting for Ana Paulina. Crist needs to retire he is no good for America or Pinellas County Florida.

  • Ken Z

    July 26, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Christ has done nothing other than been a career politician! What is he this time Independent, democrat or republican? Guy is a JOKE!

  • Trent Finkle

    July 26, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    Flip Flop Crist is only in it to feed his narcissism! He’s played for both teams switching only to get elected to a cushy job in The Swamp! He’ll suck up to anyone with money for his campaign treasure chest. Ana Paulina Luna is getting my support.

  • Rob

    July 26, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    Flip flop Crist needs to get a real job. He will never get my vote.

  • Steve Tessitore

    July 27, 2020 at 2:20 am

    He’s the biggest traitor in politics
    Never vote for him and his mark is leaning party

Comments are closed.


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