U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist contributed $100,000 to the Florida Democratic Party’s Blue Shift program to encourage Democratic voter turnout. That makes the St. Petersburg Democrat the first candidate for Governor this election cycle to back the grassroots organization initiative.
“I’m proud to be a part of the most coordinated voter mobilization effort in Florida history,” he said. “As Democrats, we will work together to win, so we can build a Florida all Floridians are proud to call home.”
The Blue Shift program aims to register and mobilize more Democrats to vote in the Midterm Election, where Crist is seeking the nomination to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis. Launched last week, the effort marks the earliest point in an election cycle when Florida Democrats formally launched a registration, mobilization and persuasion voter outreach effort.
Crist noted his own campaign has five outreach coalitions — Women for Crist, Seniors for Crist, Unidos con Crist, Faith Leaders for Crist and Students for Crist — already at work to turn out critical Democratic demographics both in the Democratic Primary in August and the upcoming General Election.
He has recently hammered a leaked Supreme Court opinion signaling the end of Roe v. Wade. In the wake of that news, Crist has attended nine pro-choice rallies. That’s a sign Democrats see an opportunity to mobilize female voters in the Midterms if abortion rights are abridged by the Supreme Court.
Crist faces Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and state Sen. Annette Taddeo in the Democratic Primary, which will be decided on Aug. 23.
He has led the fundraising race among Democrats, raising more than $1 million for two consecutive months. But DeSantis’ operation has largely eclipsed efforts on the left, with the incumbent pulling in more than $10 million in April alone.
With President Joe Biden suffering in public approval polling, many analysts expect a difficult cycle for Democrats. But Crist expressed confidence Democratic voters will organize to unseat DeSantis.
“Florida is ready to cast aside DeSantis’ divisive politics and unify, getting boots on the ground early and in a big way to connect with Floridians from every corner of the state,” Crist said.