One of Florida’s biggest unions backs Charlie Crist for Governor

The endorsement for the former Republican Governor exhibits his mainstream Democratic bona fides in the coming election.

One of the state’s largest unions weighed in on the heavily contested Democratic Primary and in what they called a “landslide” vote Friday, decided Charlie Crist is the best candidate to beat Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Crist is in a contest for the Democratic nomination with Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried for the right to compete with DeSantis in November’s General election. And at the union’s convention in Orlando, 143,470 voted “yes” for Crist out of 162,979 votes cast.

The Florida AFL-CIO believes that whether in Tallahassee or Washington, Crist has governed fairly and in a way that takes into account the workers that make Florida, and America, run,” the union tweeted Friday afternoon.

The Florida AFL-CIO lays claim to representing 500 local labor unions, 10 councils and over one million union members and retirees in the state. The Florida Education Association is the largest affiliate of the Florida AFL-CIO. And they, too, threw their support behind Crist earlier this month.

Crist in a statement said he was honored to get the union’s vote.

“Our teachers, our tradesmen, our state and municipal workers, these folks are the backbone of our workforce in Florida. And right now their freedoms, their freedom to organize, their freedom to advocate for better pay and better benefits, are under attack by this administration,” Crist said, in a statement. “Together we are going to take this state back for our working men and women.”

Crist was elected Governor as a Republican in 2006, but he later changed parties. Throughout the last year, endorsement by endorsement, Crist’s appeal to mainstream Democrats has become apparent.

Last week, the Florida chapter of the Service Employees International Union announced its support for Crist. By last October, Crist announced he had the endorsement of 100 elected and local leaders.

Fried’s campaign consultants last week released the results of their internal polling that shows that Crist’s front-runner status is small and tenuous, leading Fried 38% to 34%, with only the margin of error between them. Crist’s campaign has polls, however, showing him comfortably ahead in the Primary and the General.

Whoever wins the Democratic nomination has an uphill battle, however. Most polls show DeSantis beating either Democrat. And DeSantis has proven himself a fundraising juggernaut.

His political director hailed the decision on Twitter.

“With the strength of the (AFL-CIO), we’re going to unseat Ron DeSantis in November,” Phillip Jerez tweeted from an unverified account. “This is a huge endorsement and we’re proud to have their support.”

Crist said the issues make the case for him.

“It’s all on the line in November — the freedom to form a union, reproductive freedom, the freedom from politics in our classroom — and that’s why we are going to win,” he said.

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].


  • Well as the people. Our state has been running better than most and we want to keep it that wayl

    June 25, 2022 at 7:59 am

    not all unions back this Democrats that running as Well as the people. Our state has been running better than most and we want to keep it that way

  • Arora

    June 25, 2022 at 2:28 pm

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  • Carl Brickman

    June 25, 2022 at 4:01 pm

    Charlie Crist needs to campaign and not sit down and rely on commercials and robocalls. He didn’t last time and lost the election to Rick Scott.

  • Yvonne

    June 26, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    Why woulda y one endorse a guy that can’t even make up his mind what party he can win in?🤬😡🥵🥶


    June 26, 2022 at 9:11 pm


  • Wilma

    June 27, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    Hi ! I am Wilma & I’ll be your personal coach and will guide you in starting with an online business..qad if you are interested in making $90 hourly and up to $12000 a month then follow link… 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐒𝐢𝐭𝐞𝟐𝟒.𝐜𝐨𝐦

  • Jim

    June 29, 2022 at 8:00 am

    Neither this story’s headline nor sub-head names the union. It’s not identified until the 3rd graf of the story itself. Surely the AFL-CIO is well known at least to informed readers and can be named on first reference.

Comments are closed.


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