Evan Ross: Dear Charlie Crist, don’t do it

charlie crist
We want you, Charlie. Just not the way you want us to.

Dear Charlie,

Florida has been good to you. You’ve been good to Florida too. You’ve changed a lot during your political career. The Democratic Party welcomed you. We made you our candidate for governor. We sent you to Congress. Now, we need you to help us usher in a new generation of leadership, not stand in its way.

In 2010, I cast one of a handful of votes I have ever cast against a Democrat in a partisan election.

I voted for you for U.S. Senate. I liked you and thought you’d be a good, moderate representative of our purple state. Most of all, I thought you had a better chance of beating Marco Rubio than Kendrick Meek did.

I don’t regret that vote.

In 2014, I actively campaigned for you for Governor. I fully embraced your move into the Democratic Party. You came close to winning, but you fell short.

Congress proved to be a soft landing spot for you. You get to continue to serve and enjoy the support of a community that could just as easily choose a Republican to represent them.

If Congress isn’t where you want to be, I’d understand. You’ve been an executive. Being 1 of 435 in a body where seniority dictates so much, it’s a long way to the top.

Running for Governor again isn’t the solution. It shouldn’t even be an option.

Florida has a bench of talented leaders, many of them young, and many of them bringing diversity that represents our party.

Nikki Fried is the first Jewish woman ever elected statewide.

Val Demings could be both the first woman and the first Black person to represent Florida in the U.S. Senate.

Lauren Book has an incredible story of not only survival but turning tragedy into service.

Fentrice Driskel is a brilliant young attorney and public servant.

Dotie Joseph represents an underserved Caribbean community and uses her Ivy League education and legal background to impact lives.

Jason Pizzo has done more good in two years than most state legislators do in 16.

Nick Duran is a rising star who could be our best hope of winning back a lost congressional seat in Miami-Dade County.

Dave Aronberg has brought justice for victims others ignore.

Shevrin Jones is breaking glass ceilings and proving you can be both progressive and effective in Florida.

Melissa McKinlay could finally give Florida a statewide elected official who comes from local government.

Stephanie Murphy is a doer in Congress and represents the get-it-done attitude, and common-sense values Florida needs and deserves.

I could go on and on about talented young people our party needs to nurture into the next generation of leadership. We need your help. We need you to be supporting and guiding these people, not running against them. You won’t find glory in recycling past efforts. You’ll find it in ensuring a better future for all of us.

Be the mentor that helps these and the countless other talented young public servants our party has to offer become what you were.

We don’t need you on the statewide ballot. We need you at the table to help those who are.

You can make a monumental impact on our state for generations to come. Don’t hold the next generation back by seeking a return to your prior service. Put them on your shoulders and elevate them to where you have been. Be the mentor they need, not the person who stands in their way.

We want you, Charlie. Just not the way you want us to.

Our party is ready for new leadership. Instead of ending your political career by losing a primary, continue it by being the fuel that takes us into the future.


Evan Ross is a principal of Public Communicators Group, a public affairs firm that engages in lobbying, public relations, and business development.

Guest Author


  • Working woman

    January 24, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    The most conceited, self serving politician in Florida history!!! When will Floridians get it?

  • Larry Michelson

    January 24, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    Great piece!

  • Mickey Dee

    January 24, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    I understand what the writers suggest, but disagree wit his conclusion. Winning statewide elections are about having statewide name ID. During this critical time, while many of the names he mentioned are indeed stars of the Democratic party and if it had a formal bench, would be on it, accept for Commissioner Fried, they would be running their fiorst statewide campaign against a governor with statewide and national name Id … with deep pocket donors on his side. To win the governors office i Florida, you would need someone who already has a statewide finacial infrastructure ( not needing to create one from scratch as a first time statewide candidate) and someone who already has statewide name ID and preferably someone who has been on the ballot statewide before …and /or have won statewide in Florida. Charlie Crist upon leaving the legislature first challenged Senator Graham for the U. s. semate… and someone expectingly loss as he was chanmllenging a popular statewide politician with deep Florida history ( as a former governor), he then worked in a position provided to him by Gov Bush for a few years with the states Department of Business Regulations. He then ran for state Education Commissioner and won, then a few years later ran for Attorney General of Florida and win…. to then run for Governor and win. As governor he served one term before challenging Rubio for the U. Us Senate. … and he did so after switching partys. His loss of the latter race is largely because he switched partys angering the Florida GOP who was able to paint the picture of him being someone that you cant trust, and at the same time Democrats werent wholeheartedly supporting hiom as he was only recently a Republican new to their party. Charlie is the only potential governatorial candidate who has been on the statewide ballot three times and have one all three except for that last one where he was hobbled by his party. As much as i believe Jason Pizzo, Mrs Driskell and others are indeed the present ( because of their work in the legisture) and its future, Charlie Crist has the best chance of winning … if you are to look at it practically. Florida is ruined by the GOP on the cabinet, in the Florida House and its Senate. This is not a time to not just simply want to win and no longer have the ridiculous purity test and the rooting of friends just because its a friend, as this is a time to win. Charlie Crist record as a Attorney general, education commission and Governor shows a winning record…. but yes, as a Republican which many democratic voters always liked and voted for. He was a very moderate Republucan governor who used is office to pardon a record number of individuals abused by a racially biased criminal justice system and for many.. operated as a democratic governor even before his party change. The Femocrats mentioned in the column will all be the statewide and national leaders for Florida and Florida Democrats in due time. I could be wrong ( heck what do i know?), but those are my intial thoughts with deep respect for all leaders mentioned

  • Charlie sucks

    January 25, 2021 at 6:23 am

    You left Gillum off the list…??? Seriously. He can win this time. 😀

  • Arthur Sands

    January 25, 2021 at 8:01 am

    The most important thing that Democrats need to do is their messaging. The Republicans love to use the word Socialism and I have not heard one comment from Democrat’s to dispute that charge. It’s is time for the National Democratic Party to Develop a messaging process that works throughout the United States. The Republicans do it all the time. Why can’t the Democrats do it as well.

  • Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com

    January 28, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    The Florida Pol site has their heads up the Boon family’s ass so often, they resemble a human centipede.

Comments are closed.


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