Updated with Republican response at 3:35 pm EDT
Charlie Crist has run and won as a Republican: Florida state senator, education commissioner, attorney general and governor.
He has run and lost as a Republican: Challenging former Florida Sen. Bob Graham.
And Crist has run and lost as an independent: Florida Republican Marco Rubio holds theSenate seat Crist wanted.
Now Crist is ready to run as a Democrat: Targeting Republican Gov. Rick Scott next year.
The lawyer from St. Petersburg already is facing a barrage of attacks from Republicans portraying the ex-Republican who appeared on stage for President Barack Obama at his renomination in Charlotte last year as a turncoat. Not to mention the Democratic Party’s other possible primary contenders, now that Alex Sink, the former state chief financial officer who narrowly lost to Scott in 2010, has announced she will not run again.
“I worked to be the people’s governor,” Crist says in a web-video laying the groundwork for a campaign announcement. “You, the people, were in charge.”
He is striking most of the themes that Democrats traditionally have won on in a swing state that backed Obama’s election twice and has a Republican-run Legislature. There’s no talk about off-shore oil drilling, but that sure looks like the Gulf of Mexico in the backdrop.
The past few years have been “tough,” Crist says. Health care has been under attack, as well as “women and their doctors,” teachers, college education and “the simple task of casting of your vote.”
Crist invites viewers to send him their thoughts.
“I’ll read every last one… I work for you, the people, always have and always will.”
— Susan Hepworth (@shepworth) October 25, 2013
Contrasting his words about things “not working,” Crist is shown addressing a question about Scott benefiting from an economy that’s improving in Florida. Crist replies: “Celebrate it. I’m glad that Floridians are doing better. ”
It’s going to be a long year in Florida.
— FloridaGOP (@FloridaGOP) October 23, 2013
His former party’s response: