U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist rolled out a bundle of endorsements Monday in the Democratic Primary race for Governor.
The bulk endorsement features well-known names from all corners of the state.
“Charlie is and always will be a champion for everyday Floridians, and now more than ever, we need his leadership back in Tallahassee. Charlie is a man with dignity, decency, and an unmatched commitment to our communities and our Florida. His years of experience, selfless service, and proven track record will restore transparency and a common sense back into our state,” the backers said in a joint statement.
“A trusted and respected man and public servant, Charlie is the candidate Floridians from across the state and across party lines will entrust to lead us back on the right path. He is the only person in this race who can and will defeat Governor DeSantis and take back Florida for the good of the people. We proudly endorse Charlie Crist to be our next Governor.”
The new endorsements include several from the Tampa Bay area including Tampa City Council member Luis Viera, former Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller, former Tampa City Council member Gwen Miller, Pinellas County commissioners Rene Flowers, Janet Long and Pat Gerard, St. Petersburg City Council members Amy Foster, Deborah Figgs–Sanders, Brandi Gabbard, Lisa Wheeler–Bowman and Gina Driscoll, Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson, St. Pete Beach Mayor Alan Johnson, Indian Shores Mayor Pat Sorrano, Safety Harbor Mayor Joe Ayoub, Gulfport City Council member Michael Fridovich, Clearwater City Council member Kathleen Beckman, Largo city commissioners Eric Gerard, Michael Smith and Jamie Robinson, and St. Pete Beach Commissioner Chris Graus.
Jacksonville was also heavily represented with nods from Jacksonville City Council members Garrett Dennis, Brenda Priestly Jackson and Reggie Gaffney and former Rep. Terry Fields, among others.
The full list of 50 state and community leaders who endorsed Crist on Monday is available online.
The new backers join several other high-profile Democrats in backing Crist. In addition to those announced Monday, the former Governor has earned endorsements from U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor and Al Lawson (whose endorsements had previously been announced), former state Rep. Sean Shaw, state Sen. Audrey Gibson and a dozen current state Representatives.
The bulk endorsement landed shortly after Crist reported raising more than $700,000 for his gubernatorial campaign in August, and in the wake of polls showing him ahead of incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis in a hypothetical head-to-head.
To earn that head-to-head, Crist must make it past Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in the Democratic Primary
“I am deeply humbled and honored to have received the support of such a vast and impressive group of Florida leaders from all across the state,” Crist said. “These endorsements reflect the diversity and grassroots coalition of support our campaign is successfully fighting to build in Florida each and every day.
“Our message is resonating with folks from all walks of life and I could not be more thrilled to watch our movement build to take back the Governor’s Mansion in 2022. We’re on a mission to change the course of our state and build a Florida for all, where the people are back in charge. We won’t stop fighting for Florida.”