Charlie Crist

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Charlie Crist
Former candidate for
Governor of Florida
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Governor of Florida
2007-2011 (Elected as a Republican, became an Independent in '10)
Attorney General of Florida
2003-2007 (Republican)
Florida Commissioner of Education
2001-1003 (Republican)
High schoolSt. Petersburg High School (1974)
Bachelor'sFlorida State University
J.D.Cumberland School of Law-Alabama
Date of birthJuly 24, 1956
Place of birthAltoona, Pennsylvania
Personal website
Campaign website
Charles Joseph "Charlie" Crist, Jr. (b. July 24 1956, in Altoona, Pennsylvania) is a politician and former Republican Governor of Florida. Crist ran as a Democrat in the 2014 gubernatorial contest. He won the August 26 Democratic primary and took on Republican incumbent Rick Scott in the general election. Crist selected Annette Taddeo-Goldstein as his running mate for lieutenant governor.[1][2] Charlie Crist lost the general election on November 4, 2014.

Crist formally launched his 2014 gubernatorial campaign in his hometown of St. Petersburg on November 4, 2013, exactly one year prior to the 2014 general election.[3] Before declaring his candidacy, Crist was already considered a frontrunner in the race against Scott, who succeeded Crist as governor in 2011.[4]

In addition to serving as governor, Crist was state attorney general from 2003-2007, and the state education commissioner from 2001-2003, until the office was eliminated.[5] Crist had long been affiliated with the Republican Party until becoming an Independent in 2010. He most recently became a Democrat in December 2012.[6] Crist began his political career representing parts of St. Petersburg in the Florida Senate, where he became best known for his support of chain gangs for state prison inmates, earning him the nickname "Chain Gang Charlie."[7]


Crist was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania to Charlie Crist Sr., a Greek Cypriot, and Nancy Lee, who is Scots-Irish. Crist later moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, where he attended Riviera Middle School and graduated from St. Petersburg High School in 1974. He attended Wake Forest University, where he played quarterback for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons football team. Crist received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University where he was the Vice President of the student body. He is a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. While at FSU, Crist was named Mr. Seminole. He received his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law in Alabama.[8]


  • St. Petersburg High School (1974)
  • Wake Forest University
  • Bachelor's degree, Florida State University
  • Juris Doctorate, Cumberland School of Law

Political career

Governor of Florida (2007-2011)

Crist was elected the 44th Governor of Florida in November 2006. He served one term and was succeeded by Rick Scott (R).

Emission controls

In July 2007, Crist announced plans to sign executive orders that would impose strict air-pollution standards in the state, with aims to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. Crist's orders would set new emissions targets for power companies, automobiles and trucks, toughen conservation goals for state agencies and require state-owned vehicles to use alternative fuels.[9]

Disputes with Insurance Companies

In 2007, Governor Crist was embroiled in public disputes with property insurers over homeowners' insurance rates. Crist had expected insurers to lower their rates with new reinsurance coverage available from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund. However, insurers found that although the FHCF will offer them complete coverage, there were significant doubts in the marketplace as to whether the FHCF will be able to make good on those claims. Ratings agencies (such as Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and A. M. Best) warned insurers that if they accepted too much reinsurance from FHCF, they risked being downgraded. With such a warning in hand, insurers instead went to the private reinsurance market for much of their reinsurance, and found significantly higher rates.

On race relations

Democratic Representative Terry Fields of Jacksonville, Florida referred to Crist as the state's "first black governor." saying, "Charlie Crist has been a friend to the African-American community even before he became governor." He was the first Republican governor to accept the state's NAACP invitation to a convention and endorsed legislation requiring paper records of all ballots cast during an election, stemming from criticisms in black communities that believed they were being undercounted by computerized voting machines.[10]

Attorney General of Florida (2003-2007)

During his time in office, Crist was applauded by civil rights and consumer groups for expanding the powers of the Attorney General to prosecute civil rights and fraud cases. He was also commended for his efforts to combat spam emails, freeze utility rates, end telecom deception and protect the environment. Supporters of Crist's candidacy included America's Most Wanted host John Walsh, who publicly filed Crist's gubernatorial candidacy paperwork, citing his work with the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. John Walsh also appeared in Crist's "anti-murder" campaign advertisements.

Crist's tenure as attorney general was not received well by everyone, however. Some activists who had pushed for government intervention in the Terri Schiavo right-to-life case strongly opposed Crist when he did not attempt further legal action to keep Schiavo on life support. As Attorney General, he came under fire for not using his powers to investigate Schiavo's missing Department of Children and Families file.

Canadian anti-consumer-fraud activist and author Les Henderson criticized Crist's handling of the Lou Pearlman Wilhelmina Scouting Network affair in his September 2006 book Under Investigation. Henderson's book presented documentary evidence that Assistant Attorney General Jacqueline Dowd was forced to resign by Crist's office when she refused to stop investigating the scam, and intended to file charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.[11]

A lawsuit stemming from the alleged Lou Pearlman Ponzi Scheme and investment scandal alleges that Crist delayed or interfered with investigations into Pearlman in return for campaign donations, use of private jets, home and skyboxes.[12]

State Education Commissioner (2001-2003)

In 2001, Crist was elected to the office of Education Commissioner of Florida in November 2000, and he served in this capacity until 2003. When the office was eliminated in accordance with a 1998 constitutional amendment, all responsibilities turned over to the appointed Secretary of Education. Crist had by that time already won his position as Attorney General of Florida.

Deputy Secretary of Business and Professional Regulation (1999-2001)

In 1999, Governor Jeb Bush appointed Crist to the position of Deputy Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

State Senate (1993-1999)

Crist entered state politics representing parts of St. Petersburg in the Florida Senate, where he became best known for his support of chain gangs for state prison inmates, earning him the nickname "Chain Gang Charlie."[13] Crist became well-known in state politics in 1998, when after nearly six years in the Senate he challenged popular Democratic incumbent Bob Graham for his U.S. Senate seat but lost by 26 percent.

On The Issues Vote Match

Charlie Crist's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the analysis, Crist is a Moderate Liberal Populist.[14] Note: We are working to resolve inaccuracies with this information. Thank you for your patience.

On The Issues organization logo.

Elections & Appointments


See also: Florida gubernatorial election, 2014

Crist ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Florida in 2014. He secured the Democratic nomination in the primary on August 26 for the right to challenge Republican incumbent Rick Scott in the general election. Scott defeated Crist to win re-election in the general election on November 4, 2014.[4]

Long before entering the race in November 2013, Crist's decision to change his party registration to Democrat in December 2012 and his subsequent hobnobbing with the Democratic Governors Association strongly indicated the former governor was preparing for a comeback bid against Scott in 2014.[15]

Crist was a Republican until 2010 when he re-registered as an Independent in order to stay in the race after Republican voters chose Marco Rubio over him in the primary, and his latest party makeover was widely interpreted as a strategic maneuver aimed at helping him unseat Scott.[16]

Crist filed his candidacy on November 1, 2013.[3] On July 17, 2014, he selected Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, a Colombian-American business owner and chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, to be his running mate for lieutenant governor.[17]


Primary election
Governor of Florida, Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngCharlie Crist 74.4% 623,001
Nan Rich 25.6% 214,795
Total Votes 837,796
Election Results via Florida Division of Elections.
General election
Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Florida, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRick Scott/Carlos Lopez-Cantera Incumbent 48.1% 2,865,343
     Democratic Charlie Crist/Annette Taddeo-Goldstein 47.1% 2,801,198
     Libertarian Adrian Wyllie/Greg Roe 3.8% 223,356
     No Party Affiliation Glenn Burkett/Jose Augusto Matos 0.7% 41,341
     No Party Affiliation Farid Khavari/Lateresa Jones 0.3% 20,186
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0% 137
Total Votes 5,951,561
Election Results via Florida Division of Elections.

Race background

Republican incumbent Rick Scott was re-elected to a second term as governor in 2014. Sources such as Governing, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, The Cook Political Report, The Washington Post and Daily Kos had rated Scott among the most vulnerable governors of the electoral cycle.[18][19][20][21][22] Polls projected an extremely close contest between Scott and his prime contender, former Republican Governor Charlie Crist, who became a Democrat before mounting his comeback bid against Scott. Indeed, the race came down to the wire on election night.[23]

Education debate

Charlie Crist and Rick Scott sparred over education funding as the primary election transitioned into a general election. Prior to the Republican primary, Scott announced that he would boost per-pupil spending to record levels if re-elected in November. The governor's office published a statement promising an increase in per-pupil funding to $7,132 per student for the 2016 fiscal year, which would surpass the $7,126 per student rate passed during Crist's first year as governor in 2007. He cited improving job figures in his office's optimistic outlook on public education financing.[24]

Crist toured the state in a school bus in August in order to highlight cuts in public education since Scott won election. He noted that the governor facilitated $1.3 billion in education cuts during the 2012 fiscal year.[24] Crist stated on his campaign website that he would push public schools and their partners to reach the top 10 percent of schools globally as measured by reading, math and science scores by 2020.[25]

Ad spending, influence

The Scott vs. Crist election battle played out largely through television ads during the general election. Whether sponsored internally or produced and aired under the auspices of independent expenditures, the commercials were predominantly negative, with each candidate and his outside backers barring no holds to disgrace the other before Florida's electorate of active television viewers.

In late September, Scott upped the ante on media spending for the race by sinking an additional $8 million on television commercials, next to Crist's roughly $5.5 million ad-buy increase on current and future spots. Already a wallet-shattering sum, those ad-buys put the total amount spent on behalf of the two frontrunners' marketing campaigns past the $50 million mark. Scott was responsible for 71 percent, or over $35 million, of this pot, far eclipsing contributions from Crist and his supporters. The incumbent's standing in the race remained precarious during the marketing blitz, but polls conducted during this stage indicated a slight improvement for Scott. These marginal gains invited comparisons to his road from virtual no-name to victory back in 2010, which was attributed in large part to a massive emphasis on TV commercials.[26]

A September 23 article in The Miami Herald pointed out that a candidate's on-air presence does not guarantee success in an election, although Florida's media-marketing landscape is such that a candidate who neglects television altogether is almost guaranteed to fail. "If TV ads decided the governor’s race, Scott would win in a landslide," the article stated.[26]

Primary races

In June 2013, ex-Florida Sen. Nan Rich became the first Democratic candidate in the race. She was later joined by former Florida Gov. and newly-minted Democrat Charlie Crist. Crist's candidacy loomed heavy over Scott's re-election campaign, according to match-up and approval polls dating back as far as May 2012.[4][2][27]

Long affiliated with the Republican Party, Crist's first party switch occurred in 2010, when, after losing the Republican primary for U.S. Senate to Marco Rubio, he changed his registration to Independent as an alternative route to reaching the general election ballot. In the fall of 2013, Crist became a Democrat. This latest party makeover was widely interpreted as a strategic maneuver to help him unseat Scott in the 2014 governor's race.[28]

As the Crist story unfolded and media coverage about Scott's struggles increased, a slew of other, lesser-known hopefuls began filing for the office, mainly as write-ins or with no party affiliation. By October 2013, there were over twenty potentials actively petitioning for a place on the primary and general election ballots.[29] When the filing window finally closed on June 20, 2014, the number had dropped to 18 qualified gubernatorial candidates. The Republican field settled to three, including Scott, while the Democratic field remained a head-to-head battle between Crist and Rich. Unopposed Libertarian nominee Adrian Wyllie earned a direct pass to the general election, along with nine write-ins and three candidates with no stated party preference.[30]

Under Article IV of the Florida Constitution, gubernatorial nominees are required to select running mates after the primary, though they are permitted to do so in advance. Customs for selecting running mates vary across Florida's main political parties. For example, Crist was chided for breaking with party tradition when he announced Annette Taddeo-Goldstein as his lieutenant governor pick prior to the primary. "Because he’s been a life-long Republican, Charlie Crist might be excused for not knowing that Democrats typically don’t choose a running mate until they win the nomination," jabbed Nan Rich, his Democratic primary challenger, in a July campaign press release.[31]

In January, Scott appointed Carlos Lopez-Cantera as Florida's new lieutenant governor, ending an extended vacancy in the office that began with former-Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll's March 2013 resignation amid a public relations scandal. Since Lopez-Cantera's appointment occurred during a gubernatorial election year, his qualifications as a campaigner factored significantly into his selection. Scott and Carroll shared the ticket in 2010, so the governor was left with the responsibility of picking not only a new lieutenant governor to serve out Carroll's term, but also a new running mate for the 2014 election.

Scott and Crist handily secured their respective parties' nominations in the August 26 primary election.[32]

Scott and Cantera-Lopez were elected governor and lieutenant governor on a joint ticket in the general election on November 4, 2014.


Debate media

October 15 debate

October 21 debate
October 21 debate

Rick Scott (R) and Charlie Crist (D) leveled sharp criticisms against each other during the race's final debate carried live on CNN. The race received significant attention for an earlier debate where Scott refused to join Crist on stage due to the Democratic candidate's use of a fan. Scott and Crist displayed their acrimonious relationship during the CNN debate by sparring over personal finances. Scott argued that Crist's privileged upbringing meant that he could not relate to low-income families. Crist countered that Scott was not qualified to make such a statement given his substantial wealth.[33]

The most interesting exchange of the night came after a question regarding the governor's role in signing execution orders. Crist accused Scott of delaying the execution of a death-row inmate this year to accommodate the fundraising schedule of Attorney General Pam Bondi (R). Scott responded that he did shift the date of the order because the proposed execution dates did not work for Bondi and stated that she apologized for the delay. He did not answer repeated questions about whether he knew the delay was due to a fundraising event.[34]


General election
Crist vs. Scott vs. Wyllie

Florida Governor Three-way match-up
Poll Charlie Crist (D) Rick Scott* (R)Adrian Wyllie (L)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Quinnipiac University
July 17-21, 2014
Cherry (R-Florida Chamber of Commerce)
August 10-13, 2014
Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/UF Bob Graham Center
August 27-31, 2014
Public Policy Polling
September 4-7, 2014
September 23-15, 2014
Quinnipiac University
September 17-22, 2014
September 19-22, 2014
New York Times/CBS/YouGov
September 20-October 1, 2014
Public Policy Polling
October 3-4, 2014
University of North Florida
September 29-October 8, 2014
University of Florida
October 7-12, 2014
October 9-13, 2014
St. Pete Polls
October 17, 2014
Quinnipiac University
October 14-20, 2014
Quinnipiac University
October 22-27, 2014
AVERAGES 41.09% 41.79% 6.83% 8.63% +/-3.34 1,230.2
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)
Major party candidates

Crist vs. Scott (June 2014 - present)
Poll Charlie Crist (D) Rick Scott* (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Cherry (R-Florida Chamber of Commerce)
June 11, 2014
June 20-23, 2014
Gravis Marketing
June 20-23, 2014
June 30-7/2
July 17-21, 2014
Quinnipiac University
July 17-21, 2014
Rasmussen Reports Poll
July 29-30
July 31-August 4, 2014
Rasmussen Reports Poll
September 8-10, 2014
Rasmussen Reports
October 15-17, 2014
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
October 16-23, 2014
Gravis Marketing
October 22-24, 2014
AVERAGES 42.83% 42.58% 9.58% +/-3.09 1,259
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)
Hypothetical general election match-ups (May 2012 - June 2014)
Crist vs. Scott

Crist vs. Scott (January 2014 - June 2014)
Poll Charlie Crist (D) Rick Scott* (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
University of Florida Poll
January 27-February 1, 2014
University of North Florida
March 6-16, 2014
Sunshine State News/VSS
March 31-April 3, 2014
SurveyUSA Poll
April 10-24, 2014
Mason Dixon Poll
April 15-22, 2014
Rasmussen Reports Poll
April 21-22, 2014
Quinnipiac University
April 23-28, 2014
News Channel 8/Survey USA Poll
April 30, 2014
Gravis Marketing
April 23-25, 2014
McLaughlin (R-American Future Fund)
May 4-6, 2014
May 9-12, 2014
May 20-22, 2014
Saint Leo University
May 28-June 4, 2014
Public Policy Poll
June 4-9, 2014
June 5-10, 2014
AVERAGES 42.8% 40.87% 11.53% +/-3.67 553.6
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)

Crist vs. Scott (May 2012 - January 2014)
Poll Charlie Crist (D) Rick Scott* (R)Don't Know/RefusedOtherMargin of ErrorSample Size
Florida Opinion Research
May 23–25, 2012
Quinnipiac University Poll
June 11-16, 2013
Public Policy Poll
September 27-29, 2013
University of Florida Poll
September 30-October 8, 2013
Cherry Communication/Florida Chamber of Commerce Poll
October 4-8, 2013
Quinnipiac University Poll
November 12-17, 2013
Saint Leo Polling Institute Poll of Likely voters
December 1-8, 2013
Fabrizio McLaughlin & Associates Poll (Internal, leaked)
November 24-26, 2013
Public Policy Poll
January 16-21, 2014
Quinnipiac University Poll
January 22-27, 2014
AVERAGES 47.01% 38.41% 13.08% 2.3% +/-3.8 863.9
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)
Hypothetical general election match-ups (June 2013 - April 2014)
Rich vs. Scott

Governor of Florida Hypothetical Match-Up Poll
Poll Nan Rich (D) Rick Scott* (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Quinnipiac University Poll
(June 11-16, 2013)
Public Policy Poll
(September 27-29, 2013)
University of Florida Poll
(September 30-October 8, 2013)
Cherry Communication/Florida Chamber of Commerce Poll
(October 4-8, 2013)
Quinnipiac University Poll
(November 12-17, 2013)
Public Policy Poll
(January 16-21, 2014)
Quinnipiac University
(January 22-27, 2014)
University of Florida
(January 27-February 1, 2014)
Saint Leo University
(March 16-19, 2014)
Quinnipiac University
(April 23-28, 2014)
AVERAGES 33.9% 40.9% 20.4% +/-3.56 952.1
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)

Campaign media

Sunshine, Crist's first 1st TV ad-spot of campaign - Posted to YouTube 7/6/14

In Failed, Crist accuses Scott of cutting education funds to cover tax breaks for the wealthy - Posted to YouTube 8/22/14


Crist ran unsuccessfully for an open seat on the United States Senate in 2010. He lost two times to Republican Marco Rubio during the election- first in the primary, and again, after he re-entered the race as an independent candidate in the general election. On November 2, 2010, Rubio won election to the United States Senate. He defeated Kendrick B. Meek (D), Alexander Andrew Snitker (L), Bernie DeCastro (I), Charlie Crist (I), Sue Askeland (I), Rick Tyler (I), Lewis Jerome Armstrong (I), Bobbie Bean (I), Bruce Ray Riggs (I), Piotr Blass (I), Richard Lock (I), Belinda Gail Quarterman-Noah (I), Geroge Drake (I), Robert Monroe (I), Howard Knepper (I) and Carol Ann Joyce LaRose (I) in the general election.[35]

U.S. Senate, Florida General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMarco Rubio 48.9% 2,645,743
     Democratic Kendrick B. Meek 20.2% 1,092,936
     Libertarian Alexander Andrew Snitker 0.5% 24,850
     Constitution Party of Florida Bernie DeCastra 0.1% 4,792
     Independent Charlie Crist 29.7% 1,607,549
     Independent Sue Askeland 0.3% 15,340
     Independent Rick Tyler 0.1% 7,397
     Independent Lewis Jerome Armstrong 0.1% 4,443
     Independent Bobbie Bean 0.1% 4,301
     Independent Bruce Ray Riggs 0.1% 3,647
     Independent Piotr Blass 0% 47
     Independent Richard Lock 0% 18
     Independent Belinda Gail Quarterman-Noah 0% 18
     Independent George Drake 0% 13
     Independent Robert Monroe 0% 6
     Independent Howard Knepper 0% 4
     Independent Carol Ann Joyce LaRosa 0% 2
Total Votes 5,411,106


Crist was elected Governor of Florida in November 2006. He consistently led Democratic opponent Jim Davis in statewide opinion polling during the fall of 2006, and so opted to skip a politically-risky appearance with President Bush. Crist had reasoned that the Pensacola area was already firmly in his camp, and instead decided to appear in a more closely-contested area with Arizona Senator John McCain. Davis accused Crist of trying to avoid being associated with the unpopular President, whose job-approval rating stood at 34 percent nationally and merely 29 percent within Florida.[36]

Crist also led his opponents in fundraising throughout the campaign, but his activities were occasionally controversial. One of Crist's backers was real estate mogul Donald Trump, whose guests at a Crist fundraiser included a former Ukrainian official in the country illegally, as well as the owner of a company under investigation by Crist's office. Crist later returned the donations from the companies under investigation, while the Ukrainian official's fee was paid by another guest. Further controversy set in, however, when ethics complaints were filed against Crist and his chief of staff for failing to investigate a major donor, personnel firm Convergys, that had been plagued by lawsuits and prison sentences for its role in the inadequate protection of state employees' social security numbers.

The Rev. O'Neal Dozier, a member of Crist's team and the Worldwide Christian Church, also generated controversy after being dismissed from his position on the Broward Judicial Nominating Commission for calling Islam a "cult" and a "dangerous religion," and opposing the construction of a Mosque on the grounds that "we don't want our area to be a breeding ground for terrorists."[37] When questioned about Dozier, Crist initially declined to take action on Dozier and said that he was "happy" with the help he got.[38] However, Crist later told his staff to remove Dozier from all campaign committees, saying "While Charlie Crist respects Rev. Dozier's right to express his political and religious beliefs, he does not agree with Rev. Dozier's recent statements and writings concerning Islam."[39][40]

Issue positions

2006 Campaign themes

According to his campaign website and public pronouncements, Crist would take the following positions as governor:

  • Abortion: Is "pro-life and pro-family," however, he has no plans to change abortion law in the state of Florida, stating in the August 21, 2006 issue of The Tampa Tribune that "I'd rather change people's hearts than change the law." However, Crist also said months earlier that he would, if elected governor, sign a ban on abortion similar to the one in South Dakota.
  • Adoption: Provide a $3000 subsidy to adoptive families. Crist has not yet decided if he would repeal the ban on adoption by same-sex couples.
  • Death Penalty: Defends the current law allowing non-unanimous juries to recommend the death penalty. He will be reviewing how the penalty is carried out after it took 34 minutes for Ángel Nieves Díaz to die from lethal injection December 13, 2006. "You wonder about the dosage and if there may have been some better medical diagnosis done prior to that" Crist said.
  • Education: Continue to be an advocate for parent choice in education, including stringent testing and vouchers. Crist encourages standardized testing "to guarantee that each student receives a year's worth of learning in a year's worth of time."
  • Eminent Domain: Strengthen current legal protections. Crist has stated that he believes the Kelo decision could have negative ramifications for Floridians.
  • Environment: Supports ban on oil drilling near Florida's coastline. Continue the net "ban" (limits on allowable size) aimed at protecting aquatic wildlife.
  • Foster Care: Provide a $5000 subsidy to those providing foster care to families who adopt foster children.
  • Gay Rights: Crist's website says Crist strongly supports Florida's Defense of Marriage Act which is generally opposed by gays and lesbians. Crist's primary opponent Tom Gallagher claimed Crist supports gay civil unions and Crist was a signatory to the gay marriage amendment petition in Florida.
  • Gun Rights: Balance gun owner rights with private property rights of employers. Crist was endorsed by the NRA as an "A+" candidate on gun rights. A+ is the highest endorsement given out by the NRA.
  • Hate Crimes: Stop the "clear pattern of growth" in crimes motivated by sexual orientation.
  • Healthcare: Require prescription drugs to be tracked from the manufacturer to the pharmacy to ensure drug safety. Endorsed by the Florida Medical Association and the Florida Nurses Association.
  • Homeowners Insurance: Provide affordable reinsurance. Report Card for Insurance Companies. Stop the Cherry Picking by Insurance Companies for the type of coverage they will provide. Abolition of Citizens insurance
  • Immigration: Support closing borders for illegals and policies that promote legal immigration. Supports Senator Mel Martinez's immigration bill giving amnesty to illegals.
  • Legalized Gambling: Oppose any expansion of gambling, but not support the repeal of the Broward County slot machine amendment.
  • Lawsuit Reform: Support elimination of joint and several liability.
  • Property Tax: Allow homeowners to move within the same county and between different counties while maintaining their previous property tax level.
  • Right to Die: Promote the availability of end of life choices, including living wills and coordination with hospice care.


In 1999, Governor Jeb Bush appointed Crist to the position of Deputy Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.


Letter from Beverly Young

Beverly Young, the widow of former Florida congressman Bill Young, sent a message to Crist telling him not to attend her late husband's funeral service on October 24, 2013.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Mrs. Young wrote in the message: “This e-mail is to officially advise you that your presence at my husband’s memorial services will be unacceptable. I have watched over the years, as Bill had, your transparent attempts to manipulate the political arena. I don’t want my husband’s memorial service to be another opportunity for that and I will not tolerate anyone turning this into a platform for political gain. Please honor my family’s request.”[41]

Second change in political affiliation

On December 7, 2012, the ex-Republican governor and attorney general announced on Twitter that he had switched his party registration to Democrat after two years as an Independent. His message said, "Proud and honored to join the Democratic Party in the home of President Barack Obama!"[6]

At the time, Crist was rumored to be exploring a run to reclaim the governor's office from first term incumbent Rick Scott (R) in the 2014 elections. Though he waited nearly another year before officially launching his campaign, Crist's decision to change his party affiliation convinced those following the race in the early stages that he would indeed challenge Scott for a second term on the Democratic ticket. Crist was a Republican until 2010, when he became an Independent in order to ensure a place on the general election ballot after losing to Marco Rubio in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. This most recent party makeover was seen as a strategic maneuver aimed at helping him unseat Scott in 2014.[42]

First change in political affiliation

In late April 2010 Charlie Crist announced that he was separating from the Republican party and would run as an Independent in the 2010 Senate race. "For me, it's never been about doing what's easy. It's been about doing what's right for the people first," he said. Since entering public office Crist has been affiliated with the Republican party.[43]

According to reports, Crist's change in affiliation was widely anticipated because he was falling behind rival Republican Marco Rubio for the Republican nomination in the 2010 Senate race. Crist had also found himself abandoned by several members of the Republican party, according to reports. The announcement also followed an opinion poll that showed Crist could win an three-way race.[44]

In May 2010, following his change in affiliation, Crist said his independence now allows him to offer a candid view and describes himself as "liberated."[45]


Crist is a member of the First Methodist Church of St. Petersburg. He married his second wife, Carole, in December 2008. His first marriage, to Amanda Marrow, lasted about six months and ended in divorce on January 2, 1980.[8] The couple had no children together.

Recent news

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See also

External links


  1. Tampa Bay Times, "Charlie Crist picks running mate: Annette Taddeo-Goldstein," July 17, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Politico, "Ex-GOP Fla. Gov. Charlie Crist to run for job as Democrat," November 1, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 Tampa Bay Times, "Charlie Crist will announce plans for governor's race Nov. 4 in St. Petersburg," October 25, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Sun Sentinel, "Charlie Christ Announces Candidacy For Florida's Governor, As A Democrat," November 4, 2014
  5., "Florida Attorneys General (1845 - Present)," accessed October 16, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 Charlie Crist Twitter Account, "Party Registration," December 7, 2012
  7. St. Petersburg Times, "Crist Will Enter Governor's Race St. Petersburg Times," May 9, 2007
  8. 8.0 8.1 Charlie Crist for Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "About Charlie," accessed October 16, 2014
  9. Environmental News Network, "Florida To Introduce Tough Greenhouse Gas Targets," accessed July 2007
  10. South Florida Sun-Sentinel, "Gov. Crist lauded by African-Americans, called 'first black governor'," October 11, 2007
  11. Orlando Business Journal, "Dowd leaves attorney general's office," February 16, 2004
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  13. St. Petersburg Times, "Crist Will Enter Governor's Race St. Petersburg Times," May 9, 2007
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Political offices
Preceded by
[[Jeb Bush]] (R)
Governor of Florida
2007 - 2011
Succeeded by
Rick Scott (R)