U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist is set to unveil a “major announcement” this Tuesday in St. Petersburg.
Crist emailed supporters this morning inviting them to RSVP for the “special event.“
It’s unknown just what this announcement may be, but speculators can’t help but wonder if the Congressman will announce his entry into the state’s 2022 gubernatorial race.
While Crist has teased the thought of a 2022 bid for Governor, last Monday, he intensified speculation by opening a political committee named “Friends of Charlie Crist,” which would allow him to start raising money for a 2022 state-level election.
This would be the Congressmen’s third run for Governor, after serving from 2007 to 2011 as a Republican.
If Crist does take the plunge, he’d be the first major Democratic candidate in the race. He’d likely face Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is also widely expected to run for the job.
The race would pit the Congressman against Republican incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis — who has faced a slew of criticism from Crist.
A senior advisor to Crist, on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the starting line up of his running team.
Jim Margolis, a partner at Washington-based consulting firm GMMB, is planning to lead Crist’s team. Margolis served as a senior advisor to former President Barack Obama in both of his national runs.
Returning team members include Joshua Karp, who has served as a communications adviser to past Crist campaigns, and Sydney Throop, who worked on Crist’s congressional runs.
Crist’s congressional chief of staff Austin Durrer is expected to serve as the campaign manager.
A new top pollster is also set to join the team — Mike Bocian. Bocian most recently did polling for Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock’s successful 2020 campaign.
Bocian will replace Crist’s former top pollster, John Anzalone, who will not be returning. Prominent Florida direct-mail consultant Ed Peavy will also not be returning to the team.
Crist has been a vocal critic of DeSantis, especially in his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking with Jim DeFede on “Facing South Florida” on CBS Local in Miami, Crist said he was disappointed in DeSantis’ job performance, particularly related to his response to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine rollout, or, as Crist called it, the “non-rollout.”
The Congressman even called for a federal investigation into the alleged “pay for play” partnership with Publix.
Most recently, Crist blasted Florida Republicans for the last-minute passage of legislation that would prohibit transgender athletes from participating in women’s and girls’ sports. He also called on DeSantis to veto the bill, although the Governor made clear his intentions to sign it in a Thursday night appearance on the “Ingraham Angle” on Fox News.
More details are expected Monday on the event’s location, and the announcement is set to start at 11 a.m.