Florida’s longest-serving Attorney General endorses Charlie Crist for Governor

Crist, Charlie - 4
Bob Butterworth was Florida Attorney General for 15 years.

The longest-serving Attorney General in Florida history — carrying out his duties under both Republican and Democratic governors  — is endorsing Democrat Charlie Crist to be Florida’s next Governor.

Bob Butterworth served as Attorney General for 15 years. His tenure began with Gov. Bob Martinez in 1987 and ended with Gov. Jeb Bush in 2002. Butterworth’s support of Crist for Governor represents the former Republican Governor’s 115th endorsement from current and former elected officials from around the state, according to a news release from the Crist campaign.

Butterworth recalled how then-Gov. Crist stepped outside of party lines in 2007 to appoint him, a Democrat, to lead the Department of Children and Families as Secretary.

“Charlie Crist has proven time and time again he will always put the people of Florida ahead of partisan politics — that’s why I’m proud to support my friend, Charlie, in his run for Governor,” Butterworth said, according to a news release. “A tested leader that millions across our state know and trust, Charlie is the only candidate capable of uniting Floridians and bringing real executive leadership to Tallahassee.”

To face Gov. Ron DeSantis in the General Election next November, Crist must first get by the Democrat’s only current statewide elected official, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. The Democratic Primary contest also features Sen. Annette Taddeo of Miami, who served as Crist’s Lieutenant Governor candidate in 2014. Crist lost that bid for the Governor’s Mansion to Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Butterworth’s endorsement shows off Crist’s mainstream, centrist appeal.

“Charlie is … a selfless public servant who’s willing to work with anyone to ensure the best for Florida,” Butterworth’s said, according to the Crist campaign. “Charlie is the leader we need back in the Governor’s mansion, and I am proud to support him to be our next Governor of Florida.”

Crist hailed the endorsement of the former Attorney General. who is burnished in Florida history for leading the multistate litigation against the tobacco industry that brought $11 billion to Florida in 1997.

“I’m thankful to have the support and endorsement of my friend, former Attorney General Bob Butterworth, who has a long history of fighting for Floridians across the Sunshine State,” Crist said. “Our campaign continues to grow in strength, pulling support from all corners of the state and every level of leadership. Together we are working tirelessly to turn the tide and put Floridians back in charge.”

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]


18 comments

  • zhombre

    November 30, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    Ancient history. How many people have moved to Florida and registered to vote since Butterworth last held any elective or appointed office in state government?

    • Carlos McDonald

      November 30, 2021 at 2:35 pm

      A whole lot, but many in Florida remember him well. You did!

      • zhombre

        November 30, 2021 at 3:13 pm

        Actually, I had only a vague recollection of who Butterworth was, and had to google his name for information.

        • Tom

          December 1, 2021 at 8:19 am

          You should take a few Flordia history lessons Z.

          • zhombre

            December 1, 2021 at 1:30 pm

            Politicians come and go. Not important. I know enough Florida history without memorizing who held what office.

    • Eric Ramos

      December 1, 2021 at 3:25 pm

      Like we care the endorsement of a mommy

  • Ocean Joe

    November 30, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    Butterworth was sheriff of Broward county as well as a circuit judge before serving as attorney general. Broward county is the bluest county in the state so the endorsement has value, especially since Fried is also from Broward. While people who moved to the Villages in the last 10 minutes may well decide the general, they won’t make much difference in the Democratic primary.

    • zhombre

      November 30, 2021 at 3:54 pm

      And the Democratic primary won’t make much difference in the general election. I look forward to DeSantis’ second term as governor and to disgruntled Democrats fuming like tiny, inconsequential dumpster fires.

      • Ocean Joe

        November 30, 2021 at 5:43 pm

        It will or it won’t, and those who haven’t finished unpacking their bags yet can vote how they like.
        Seems like better news than David Duke endorsing Trump. And it doesn’t look like Desantis plans to hang around long anyway.
        Counting folks out is always a mistake, especially by a guy who won within the automatic recount range last time.

  • Ron Ogden

    December 1, 2021 at 4:02 am

    Cleverly written to try to make Butterworth seem like something other than a lifelong partisan Democrat and to make his endorsement seem like something other than one good ol’ boy supporting another. Like Crist, Butterworth is a ghost of political times gone by–the Clinton era, specifically.

    • Charlotte Greenbarg

      December 1, 2021 at 11:45 am

      Spot on.

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    December 1, 2021 at 11:48 am

    And they’re both chameleons! LOL

    Wikipedia: “Butterworth was attorney general during the final years of use of the electric chair in executing death row prisoners. It was notorious for frequent malfunctions in the 1990s, namely in the cases of Jesse Tafero (executed May 4, 1990), Pedro Medina (executed March 25, 1997) and Allen Lee Davis (executed July 8, 1999). Reportedly, six-inch flames shot out of Tafero’s head and 12-inch flames shot out of Medina’s head, raising the question whether use of the electric chair was cruel and unusual punishment. After the Medina execution, Butterworth commented, “People who wish to commit murder, they’d better not do it in the state of Florida because we may have a problem with the electric chair.”[3]”

    • Carlos McDonald

      December 1, 2021 at 3:02 pm

      An ignorant comment on your part.
      When Butterworth said this it was intended as “if you do the crime, you will suffer the consequences harshly in Florida” in a very dry humor way. But obviously various folks commenting here mostly illustrate their own shortcomings instead of putting forward a rational argument even if to be critical.

    • Concern Citizen

      December 1, 2021 at 4:13 pm

      DeSantis prefers to let more law-abiding Floridians die than necessary because of his poor covid policies.

      • ChalkDemon

        December 1, 2021 at 9:41 pm

        What else are you 100 percent ignorant about? Please, do let it all out.
        1)Currently the lowest COVID infection rate per capita in the THE COUNTRY
        2) Fought to get monoclonal antibodies for EVERYONE in the state when the Biden Admin pulled it

  • John

    December 1, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    So the perpetual elected democrat endorsed the perpetual elected thumb in the wind….

    • zhombre

      December 1, 2021 at 1:30 pm

      Bravo. Well said.

  • tom palmer

    December 2, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    Bob Butterworth served as AG well before the position under the current and last regime became a post for political hacks.

Comments are closed.


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