Former Gov. Charlie Crist, the favorite for the Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Rick Scott, released his first television ad of the 2014 campaign on Monday.
The new ad features Crist standing in front of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, promising to fight for more education spending, for womens rights and to raise the minimum wage. Despite unemployment dramatically increasing during his time in Tallahassee, Crist also touches on the workforce and claims to have saved 20,000 teacher positions during his term.
"Were famous for our sunshine here," Crist says in the ad. "But for many, work starts before it comes up and continues long after it goes down."
Sunshine reflects who our campaign is about: Floridas middle-class families and seniors, whose lives have gotten harder under Rick Scott, Omar Khan, Crists campaign manager, said Monday. Charlie Crist understands the stress theyre facing every day -- thats why hes always fought for them and thats why hell fight for them again as governor.
In the meantime, Crist is starting to get more financial support from the Democrat establishment, despite his Republican past and facing former Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich in next months primary. TheMiami Heraldreported on Monday that the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) sent $500,000 to Crist toward the end of June.
But to Scott's team, Crist only wants to be in politics when things are rosy. Florida Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, chairman of Gov. Scott's re-election committee, quickly returned fire on the former governor following the ad's release.
"It's fitting that Charlie Crist's first campaign ad is called 'Sunshine' because he only wants to be around during good times, Thrasher said, noting Crist did not seek a second term for governor, but instead ran for the U.S. Senate back in 2010. When times were tough here, Charlie instituted tax increases and teacher layoffs. Then he ran away. We need four more years of Gov. Scott's steadfast leadership and job creation. The sun has set on Good Time Charlie's time in elected office."
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.