Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam is backing U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist to unseat Gov. Ron DeSantis next year.
“The people of Florida need a unifier at the helm of our state, someone with the ability to unite folks from all walks of life and pave a path forward that empowers and uplifts Floridians, not tears them down — that person is Charlie Crist,” Messam said in a statement Tuesday. “Whether it’s voting restoration, Everglades preservation, or standing alongside our public school kids and teachers — Charlie knows the job and will be ready to get to work for us on day one.”
Messam joins more than 90 others from across Florida to favor Crist in the race, including U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor of Tampa and Al Lawson of Tallahassee; state Sen. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville; former state Rep. Sean Shaw of Tampa; Broward County Mayor Steve Geller; and state Reps. Christopher Benjamin of Miami Gardens, Ben Diamond of St. Petersburg, Travaris McCurdy of Orlando, Joe Geller of Aventura. Michael Gottlieb of Davie, Michael Grieco of Miami Beach, Susan Valdes of Tampa, Yvonne Hayes of Gainesville, Tracie Davis of Jacksonville, Felicia Robinson of Miami Gardens and Diane Hart of Tampa.
Pinellas County Commissioner Rene Flowers, Tampa City Council member Luis Viera and Alcee Hastings II, the son of late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings of Delray Beach have also given the former Governor a thumbs-up.
Last week, nearly two dozen Broward County elected officials endorsed Crist. And on Monday, Chris King, a former candidate for Lieutenant Governor, also announced his support, pointing to the former Governor’s experience and potential to be “transformational.”
Crist said he was “humbled and thankful” to gain Messam’s endorsement and highlighted his desire to “restore honor and civility” to politics in Florida.
“Mayor Messam, like many others, knows exactly what’s on the line for Florida next year: support for our teachers and frontline workers, environmental protection, voting rights, women’s rights, Medicaid expansion, and more,” he said in a statement. “The time is now to roll up our sleeves and get to work to create a better tomorrow for all Floridians, and I’m proud to have Messam on our side.”
Crist, a former state Attorney General and Education Commissioner, successfully ran as a Republican in 2006 to win election as Governor. He ran again in 2014 but lost. He’s also run unsuccessful campaigns for U.S. Senate.
His grassroots campaign to again become the state’s top executive has raised $2.8 million from nearly 14,100 donors. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who Crist faces in the Democratic Primary, has raised about the same.