U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist’s bid to retake the Governor’s Mansion has gained the support of Rep. Fentrice Driskell, who called him “the best candidate” to take on Gov. Ron DeSantis this November.
Crist’s campaign announced the endorsement Thursday morning shortly before releasing a video of the two Democrats holding a “Charlie Crist for Governor” sign and delivering a few brief remarks.
In the video, Driskell said she is honored to back Crist in the race, adding she believes his “heart is in the right place” and that he will bring needed changes to Florida.
“Charlie is uniquely suited for this moment, not only because of his previous experience as a Governor, but because he has the heart and commitment our state is crying out for,” Driskell said in a separate statement. “Charlie is the change we need to see. It’s time for Floridians to band together behind Charlie.”
Driskell’s endorsement comes one day after Crist celebrated one year on the campaign trail, over which time he’s amassed support from more than 150 elected officials and community leaders and more than $8.2 million raised — including a $1 million haul in March alone.
“I’m honored to receive the support of my friend, Rep. Fentrice Driskell as our campaign reaches the one-year mark and gears up for the fight ahead against Gov. Ron DeSantis,” Crist said. “The path forward won’t be easy, but with the support of leaders like Rep. Driskell and so many others who have joined us in this movement, we can and will deliver change for Florida this November.
“Together, we will turn the tide and usher in a new tomorrow for all Floridians, one where no one gets left behind.”
Crist, a St. Petersburg Democrat who was a Republican while serving as Florida’s 44th Governor from 2007 to 2011, faces two major opponents in the Primary Election: Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat, and state Sen. Annette Taddeo of Miami. Both would make history as the state’s first woman Governor.
Crist has outraised both and holds a commanding lead in popularity among voters, according to a new survey from St. Pete Polls in which 52% of respondents said they support him for Governor compared to 19% who back Fried and 5% who side with Taddeo. Twenty-four percent remain undecided.