In Jacksonville swing, Charlie Crist collects Tony Hill endorsement

Hill Crist
Jacksonville Democrats continue to back the front-runner.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist notched another endorsement in Jacksonville Friday, with former state Sen. Tony Hill the latest veteran politician to back him in his bid to return to the Governor’s Mansion.

Hill, a current candidate for the Democratic nomination in the post-redistricting race in Florida’s 4th Congressional District, called Crist “the real deal” during a roundtable event hosted by the Jacksonville Black Veterans Chamber of Commerce.

In turn, Crist said he endorsed Hill in his current race for Congress.

Hill is a current district aide to U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, who still represents Jacksonville through the rest of this year. Lawson was an early backer of Crist.

Crist consolidated support from key area Democrats early, with state Sen. Audrey Gibson, state Rep. Tracie Davis and City Councilman Reggie Gaffney having already backed him months ago. His main Primary opponents, Nikki Fried and Annette Taddeo, have not gotten comparable traction with Jacksonville elected officials in terms of endorsements.

The roundtable event saw Crist show up nearly 80 minutes late, with Crist having traveled in from an event in Monticello.

“I’m running on fumes,” Crist said. “I’m late and I’m sorry.”

Despite his lateness, he exchanged thoughts and ideas with roughly two dozen on hand. Some of the most spirited exchanges were on gun control, where numerous attendees questioned his desire for an assault weapon ban.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” Crist said.

Not all of those at the roundtable were sold. One worried about the state having a “monopoly on violence.” Another said that the prospect of aggressive gun control measures would repel voters.

“If you want Republicans to vote for you, saying you’re going to take their AR-15s balloons into what else are you going to take,” he asserted.

Though there are still months to go before the Primary, Crist has been the front-runner in the Democratic race since the start. He has led his opponents in most polls of the race, and has consistently dominated the fundraising race.

Gov. Ron DeSantis presents his own set of challenges. Those include incumbency, a fundraising machine in overdrive, access to virtually unlimited earned media and other advantages that Crist, or any opponent, will face difficulty countering.

Crist served as Governor as a Republican from 2007 to 2011. He is currently in his final term in Congress as a Democrat representing the St. Petersburg area.

Asked about who he might pick for Lt. Governor, Crist said he had a “mental list” of 22 people from “all over the state,” joking that Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady would be a “great Lieutenant Governor.”

Crist was similarly noncommittal when asked about the prospect of Gov. DeSantis picking an interim Jacksonville Sheriff, a move that some Democrats have worried would install TK Waters, the preferred candidate of Republican donors, to replace Mike Williams after Williams retires next week.

“I would appoint the best person that’s qualified to do the job and keep the people of Duval County safe,” Crist said, extending that to even an active candidate in the Special Election being considered for the interim role.

“Why not? Should that eliminate someone? Whoever the best person is to keep the people safe, that’s who I’d appoint. I don’t know if that’s what the current Governor would do,” Crist added.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


5 comments

  • Brandon

    June 4, 2022 at 12:29 am

    Charlie Crist is the “real deal”? 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  • Dan lanske

    June 4, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    I can’t believe democrats are dumb enough to nominated him again. This is too good to be true!! 🤣🤣🤣

  • Based Desantis Supporter

    June 4, 2022 at 9:44 pm

    Lmao who cares about this irrelevant loser? He couldn’t even beat old skeleton Rick Scott, and he thinks he can beat the significantly more popular desantis? And he thinks he can win on covid? Crist/Fried are both delusional. Guaranteed desantis wins by 5+ percentage points, led by a strong Hispanic showing for the GOP

  • Nancy

    June 5, 2022 at 6:33 pm

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  • Yeah

    June 5, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    I am not into politics but we have to vote he is the choice

Comments are closed.


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