Alcee Hastings II, the son of late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, says he’s endorsing Charlie Crist’s bid to become the next Governor of Florida.
Crist, who formerly served as Governor as a Republican, announced his bid for the Democratic nomination earlier this week. He swapped parties to become a Democrat years ago and has served in the U.S. House — formerly alongside Hastings — for more than four years.
“I am proud to support Charlie Crist for Governor,” Hastings II said in a Thursday statement.
“Charlie was a lifelong friend to my father, Congressman Alcee Hastings. Before he passed, my father committed to supporting Charlie, because he felt that he was the best Democrat to take on Ron DeSantis.”
Hastings II has been involved in the political scene since his father’s passing. Last month, he appeared alongside Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness as Holness announced his bid to succeed Hastings in Congress. Hastings II endorsed Holness in that effort.
Now, he’s weighing in on the 2022 gubernatorial contest. So far, Crist is the only Democrat to formally enter the race to oust DeSantis. But other big-name candidates are expected to emerge, such as Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
Hastings II could help Crist win support from Broward County’s Black community. Hastings was Florida’s longest-serving congressional member at the time of his death and was part of the first class of Black House members to ever represent Florida. Before his time in the House, he served as an lawyer litigating civil rights cases and later was nominated to a judgeship.
“The communities that my father was so honored and privileged to represent in Congress need a leader like Charlie in Tallahassee,” Hastings II added.
“Charlie is someone who will tackle inequality head-on, listen to the people of Florida by seeking our advice and counsel. He had my father’s support, and he has got mine too.”
Crist is looking to corral as much support as possible while he has the spotlight as the only Democrat in the race. That won’t last long, and Crist is already on the road campaigning looking to reach out to more voters and fellow Democrats.
Crist acknowledged the endorsement from Hastings II in a Thursday tweet. My friend Congressman Alcee Hastings was a Florida legend, and I miss him,” Crist wrote. “I’m humbled and honored to have the endorsement of his son, Alcee Hastings II.
My friend Congressman Alcee Hastings was a Florida legend, and I miss him. I'm humbled and honored to have the endorsement of his son, Alcee Hastings II.https://t.co/iZmawKl5T8 pic.twitter.com/J57teqT40g
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) May 6, 2021