U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist is endorsing Democratic candidate Eric Lynn as his preferred successor for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
Crist was first elected to the seat in 2016, defeating then-incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly and flipping the seat blue. Crist this year is seeking the Governor’s seat instead of running for re-election, leaving the congressional race open.
“Eric Lynn is a leader in Pinellas who will serve the people of the 13th District well in Congress,” Crist said in a statement.
“He knows how to listen to people and deliver the results they need on issues that matter to folks like Social Security and Medicare, protecting our environment, and so much more. I am proud to endorse Eric Lynn for Congress to fill the seat that I’m proud to represent, and look forward to both of us winning in November.”
Crist’s support comes after a series of endorsements Lynn announced since becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee for CD 13. In the last two weeks, Lynn has announced backing from former U.S. Reps. Jim Davis, Ron Klein and Kendrick Meek, as well as former state Rep. Jennifer Webb, St. Petersburg City Council member Copley Gerdes and Pinellas County Commissioner Pat Gerard.
“It is an honor to have Congressman Crist’s endorsement,” said Lynn. “We are both natives of Pinellas, graduates of St. Pete High, have dedicated our lives to public service, and always put the people first. That’s how we’ll keep this seat blue, and make Florida blue in November.”
Lynn is now the lone Democrat running in CD 13 after state Reps. Ben Diamond and Michele Rayner dropped their respective campaigns in mid-May. Democrats have held the CD 13 seat since 2016, when Crist defeated Jolly.
A new congressional map just signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis substantially reconfigures Tampa Bay. While CD 13 remains contained within Pinellas County, Downtown St. Petersburg and many Democratic portions of the old district end up in Florida’s 14th Congressional District, represented by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat.
The result for CD 13? The district goes from one where Democrat Joe Biden won the 2020 Presidential Election by 4 percentage points to a seat Republican Donald Trump won by 7 points.
Still, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has made clear they are ready to fight to keep the seat blue.
“Despite Gov. DeSantis’ blatant gerrymander, Democrats are prepared to keep this seat blue. While Florida Republicans offer nothing but extremism and divisiveness, Democrats have real solutions that will appeal to voters and put us on the path to victory in FL-13,” DCCC Spokesperson Nebeyatt Betre said in a recent statement.
Lynn also has earned endorsements from former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Gulfport Deputy Mayor April Thanos, U.S. Reps. Jimmy Panetta and Eric Swalwell of California, and former U.S. Rep. Mel Levine of California.