Scores of colleagues and staff who worked for Florida Democrat gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist in the past issued an open letter to the people of Florida in which they endorsed Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis.
Many if not all of the signers worked for Crist in his previous incarnation as a Republican, when he served as Florida’s governor between 2007-2011. After he ran for the Senate but lost in the GOP primary to Marco Rubio, Crist changed his affiliation to independent to run in the general election again against Rubio, who defeated him again. In December 2012, Crist changed his affiliation yet again, joining the Democratic Party and endorsing Barack Obama for reelection.
The signatories of the letter began by writing, “An Open Letter to Florida: The undersigned represent former colleagues and staff of Charlie Crist. Together, we have known Charlie in virtually all phases of his career and public life. We are well-qualified to endorse in the Florida Governors’ race because we have significant experience in public service to the state of Florida.”
“The choice in November could not be more clear: we unanimously endorse Governor Ron DeSantis for reelection,” they stated bluntly.
“Governor DeSantis has delivered for Florida,” they continued. “He has led our state with courage and conviction. He has demonstrated his ability to lead us through difficult times. We stand with Governor DeSantis because the stakes are too high. We urge Florida to re-elect Ron DeSantis as our Governor.”
The signatories include former Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp, who was Crist’s running mate when Crist successfully ran for governor in 2006 as a Republican; Charles Bronson, who served under Crist as Commissioner of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bill McCollum, who was elected Florida’s Attorney General in 2006, and Ken Pruitt, who served as President of the Florida Senate starting in Novemmber 2006, as well as 32 others.
A Florida Atlantic University poll conducted between October 12-16 showed DeSantis with an enormous 11-point advantage over Crist. DeSantis had a 56% favorable/38% unfavorable rating while Crist was underwater with a 41% favorable/47% unfavorable rating.
Additionally, the poll found that in a hypothetical match-up between DeSantis and President Biden, DeSantis led 48% to 42%; former President Trump led Biden 45% to 41%.
The significance of the margin of dominance DeSantis is displaying in Florida can be understood by reviewing Florida’s incredibly close gubernatorial elections in the past; in 2010, GOP candidate Rick Scott defeated his Democratic opponent, Alex Sink, 49%-48%.
In 2014, as the incumbent, Scott ran against Crist. Scott eked out a victory over Crist in 2014, 48%-47%.
In 2018, DeSantis squeaked through by a tiny 40,000 votes over Democrat Andrew Gillum in an election in which over 8.2 million votes were cast, a difference of 0.4%.