Charlie Crist leaves Congress to focus on Governor’s race

Crist faced a decision DeSantis did four years ago.

Democratic candidate for Governor Charlie Crist is leaving the U.S. House of Representatives as the General Election heats up.

Crist, who has represented Florida’s 13th Congressional District since winning the seat in the 2016 election, told the Tampa Bay Times that serving in the House was an “honor and a privilege.” He highlighted his work for veterans, solar initiatives, and community funding.

Crist had served in Congress throughout the Primary campaign against Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, relying on a proxy vote mechanism that got Republican criticism well before he got the nomination. A spokesperson for the Republican Governors Association earlier this month called his use of proxies a “flagrant violation of ethics rules and complete disrespect for his constituents.” The Times article counted up 107 different proxy votes between January and April.

The Republican National Committee issued a statement condemning Crist.

“Charlie Crist treats taxpayer-funded jobs like a game of musical chairs. Floridians can’t wait to cut the music on his career for good in November,” RNC spokesperson Julia Friedland said in a statement.

Current Gov. Ron DeSantis faced the same decision of when to resign from Congress in 2018, and like Crist, waited until after he got his party’s nomination in the gubernatorial race. DeSantis resigned on Sept. 10 of that year.

“This is not a decision I make lightly,” DeSantis noted in 2018 upon announcing his decision to leave Congress.

“As the Republican nominee for Governor of Florida, it is clear to me that I will likely miss the vast majority of our remaining session days for this Congress. Under these circumstances, it would be inappropriate for me to accept a salary,” DeSantis wrote in a letter to then-Speaker Paul Ryan.

DeSantis was almost immediately condemned by the then chair of the Florida Democrats as having “quit on the people of Florida” by resigning.

DeSantis served the constituents of Florida’s 6th Congressional District. According to GovTrack, which tracks Congress, DeSantis missed 4.2% of the roll call votes since January 2013, but the percentage spiked to 53.8% from July through his resignation.

Prior to that, DeSantis had spent much of the 2016 cycle running for Marco Rubio’s Senate seat as Rubio ran for President. DeSantis eventually returned to his House seat when Rubio reversed course and ran for Senate again after abandoning his bid for the White House.

We have reached out to the Crist and DeSantis campaigns for comment on the recent developments, and will update as warranted. The DeSantis War Room offered Twitter followers a relatively lighthearted take on Crist’s exit from Congress, saying it wasn’t sure if anyone would notice that “#EmptyChairCharlie” was gone, while not addressing their candidate’s own resignation from Congress less than four years back.


Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics contributed reporting to this article.

A.G. Gancarski

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


  • Charlie Crist

    August 31, 2022 at 8:47 am

    Elect me for governor. I will lay waste to the Christian fascists, the anti-government terrorists, the white supremacists, and the socially irresponsible conservative Republican grifters here in Florida. Together we can break the neo fascist menace.

    • Impeach Biden

      August 31, 2022 at 8:55 am

      You don’t stand a chance Charlie. The Red Tsunami is coming.🤣

      • Charlie Crist

        August 31, 2022 at 9:08 am

        Fat Tsunami 🍩😂

        • Avy115

          September 2, 2022 at 3:53 pm

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  • Tom

    August 31, 2022 at 8:59 am

    First step in getting this chameleon, fake, liar, 3 faced, flip flopper out of office for good.

    Next step will be when America’s Gov defeats him by 8 pts or more. As he’s having missed dozens and dozens of votes per Pelosi’s fake votes.

    We can’t wait not go vote for you Charlie as you asked!

    Good riddance chameleon.

    • Charlie Crist

      August 31, 2022 at 9:11 am

      Fat Cammack: Conservative with grits, and bacon, and sausage, and eggs, and pancakes with heavy syrup, biscuits with heavy gravy, and about a gallon of milk to wash it all down.

    • Tjb

      August 31, 2022 at 8:35 pm

      Did Trump change is party affiliations 4 times?

  • Impeach Biden

    August 31, 2022 at 9:05 am

    Charlie has a better chance getting on the Wilton Manors city council than winning Governor of the state of Florida.😜. Now watch the Corsin / Offen / Crist cry bigotry. Funny how that goes one way only.

    • Howard Stern

      August 31, 2022 at 9:13 am

      ^ Racist POS… disgraced his service by cheerleading for a far right mad man.

  • Hope

    August 31, 2022 at 9:23 am

    Charlie should keep his day job. What Florida Politics is failing to expose is that their own Reggie Cardozo, Democratic Party campaign manager extraordinaire, lost big time in Tallahassee last Tuesday. He was running the mayor’s race and a County Commission race and the one in the County Commission race lost by a landslide and the mayor came in second and was forced into a runoff and it is not looking good for him. Even though these candidates had the two highest record-breaking campaign funds. Reggie Cardozo did a terrible terrible terrible job of running these campaigns, it was a joke. They went negative, the candidates didn’t have any accomplishments, and it looked like this was a 6th grade operation.

    Nope, not looking good for Democrats in Florida in November.

  • Tom

    August 31, 2022 at 10:11 am

    Agreed Impeach and Hope.
    This disastrous selection by chameleon of Hernandez-Matz, she’s deeply flawed and has serious ethics and bad background.

    Nunez is a wonderful contrast, she had depth and substance. Street credibility with strong ties.

    Chameleon won’t be able to pass on this.
    Gov will fire cannon balls of adds. Yes, Dems are struggling on the local level. Matz got clock cleaned vs Gov on school board in Miami.

    Disastrous for Dums.

    • Joe Corsin

      August 31, 2022 at 11:29 am

      Give your money to him! He will make you so rich! AHAHAHA AHHH EEEE HEHEHE OOOOHOHOHO 😆

    • Ocean Joe

      August 31, 2022 at 4:06 pm

      Frankly, nobody outside of her district ever heard of Nunez either. In fact, the only Lt gov candidate in recent years that was previously well known before being elected was Buddy McKay who ran with Chiles.

  • Joe Corsin

    August 31, 2022 at 12:06 pm

    2016 election of Trump was a disastrous selection by many sub-apes…and many even tried to do it again in 2020!!!!! How many crimes including sex assaults did the orange billionaire commit! His crimes are enumerable!!!!

    • Tom

      August 31, 2022 at 12:40 pm

      No charges. No indictments.
      Just pathetic morons soros manchurians like you.

      • marylou

        August 31, 2022 at 1:16 pm

        Maybe with the photos of classified documents flung all around the floor of Mar-a-Lago….Trump had the documents all mixed up with magazines and ketchup packets!

      • Joe Corsin

        August 31, 2022 at 1:58 pm

        @Tom: And when he gets charged you’ll just come up with some other nonsense to defend the crook. You should be ashamed….you pro crime sociopath!!!

    • Arnold Gibbs

      September 2, 2022 at 12:52 pm

      Joe Corsin, once again you are talking through your hat. Furthermore, you and the rest of your “Dems”, are constantly running negative ads like calling me and other responsible “sub-apes”. That makes you a slimy snake.

  • Frankie M.

    August 31, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Ron DeSantis is not quitting on the people of Florida by running for potus while serving as governor. He’s multi-tasking. He will also be able to pardon Trump this way.

    • Elliott Offen

      August 31, 2022 at 11:29 pm


Comments are closed.


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