U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist collected support from 11 Miami-Dade community leaders Friday. They join seven others from the county who previously endorsed the former Governor, and hundreds of elected and community leaders from across the state who have thrown their weight behind his 2022 gubernatorial campaign.
Crist, a Republican-turned-Democrat, announced the endorsements at North Miami bakery and bistro Café Crème. They include Miami-Dade Commissioner Sally Heyman, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, Bay Harbor Islands Mayor Josh Fuller, North Bay Village Mayor Brent Latham, Bay Harbor Islands Commissioners Stephanie Bruder and Bob Yaffe, former Surfside Vice Mayor Barry Cohen, former Surfside Commissioner Dan Gielchinsky and North Miami Beach Commissioners Daniela Jean, McKenzie Fleurimond and Paule Vellard.
They join a movement, Crist said, to “restore decency and normalcy” to Florida by limiting Gov. Ron DeSantis to one term.
“These endorsements reflect the continued strength of support our campaign has been blessed to receive from the Panhandle to Miami,” he said in a written statement later. “Together, we will build a Florida for All.”
Crist’s campaign crossed an “energizing milestone” last month, when endorsements for his gubernatorial bid grew to more than 100 current and former elected officials. Among them: Reps. Joe Geller, Felicia Robinson and Christopher Benjamin; former Rep. Annie Betancourt; Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry; Palatka Mayor Terrill Hill; North Miami Beach Vice Mayor Michael Joseph; Daytona Beach Commissioner Paula Reed; former Oakland Park Mayor John Adornato; former Sen. Tony Hill; and former Volusia County Circuit Judge Hubert Grimes.
Other endorsers include U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor and Al Lawson, Sen. Audrey Gibson, Osceola Clerk of Courts Kelvin Soto, former Rep. Sean Shaw and Alcee Hastings II, the son of late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings.
In a joint statement, Crist’s 11 new endorsers called him a “battle tested” candidate who “has proven he’s capable of not only doing the job, but putting the people first.”
“Charlie’s record of taking on the insurance companies, standing up for our teachers, fighting for our environment, and doing right by our communities proves that he is the best candidate to unite and bring an end to Gov. DeSantis’ regime,” they said. “Miami-Dade deserves a Governor that will hear them, listen to them, and fight for them — and that Governor is Charlie Crist.”
That endorsement was nearly concurrent with his campaign’s hiring of veteran labor organizer, Carols Carillo, who held a key role in the Biden for President campaign focused on the labor vote.
Crist is ceding his seat in Congress to reclaim residency in the Governor’s Mansion. He faces Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Sen. Annette Taddeo, among others, in the Democratic Primary.