ST. PETERSBURG (CBSMiami) – Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist is expected to announce Monday that he wants his old job back.
“I work for you, the people, always have, always will,” said Charlie Crist in a recent commercial.
Monday morning,at 10am in St. Petersburg Crist is expected to make it official. But unlike before when he was a Republican, this time Crist will run on the Democratic ticket.
”I think he’s probably the most moderate candidate that has an intention to run for governor,” Mavis Rothman told CBS4’s Ted Scouten. “Good for him.”
Voters like Rothman have no problem with the party swap. But others have their doubts.
“The fact that he’s switching back and forth makes me just a little bit unsure of what he stands for. It’s like, are you republican? Are you fiscally conservative? Are you not?” asked voter Devona Reynolds-Perez.
As a republican, Crist served as a State Senator, Education Commissioner, State Attorney General and Governor.
But after accepting stimulus money from President Obama and a highly visible hug with the president, he fell out of favor with the republicans. He ran for the US senate as an Independent and lost. He finally made the switch to democrat.
“I can’t tell you how comfortable I am as a democrat. I feel like I’ve really come full cycle,” he said recently.
Governor Rick Scott’s “Let’s get to work” committee is already using the words of Crist’s former democratic foes as ammo in a commercial that will run statewide. “He’s an opportunist said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. Congressman Kendrick Meek said he can’t be trusted,” according to a clip of the commercial.
Professor Charles Zelden from Nova Southeastern University figures Crist will be a very strong candidate with Florida’s powerful independent voters.
“If he still has that magic, reaching out to the independent voter, if he can pull and energize the democratic base, he wins cause that’s well over 50% of the people who vote in this state,” Zelden told Scouten.
Zelden believes Crist will work to overcome the party swap issue by trying to convince voters that he’s still the same moderate who served as their Governor before.
“He’s a moderate. He’s always been a moderate. And as the republicans move more rightward, the democrats are sort of taking over the center, as well as the left and that leaves him there with the Democratic Party,” concluded Zelden.
CBSMiami will be streaming Crist’s announcement live at 10am.