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Nancy Smith

Rest Assured, Florida, Charlie Crist IS Running

July 15, 2015 - 2:30pm
I Beg to Differ
I Beg to Differ
Democrats think the Florida Supreme Court finally handed Charlie Crist a race he can win.
 
Certainly the court's decision Thursday pitches the District 13 seat straight down the middle for Charlie.  It's an 83-mile-per-hour batting-practice fast ball right in Charlie's wheelhouse, unless the Legislature can come up with a palatable answer. 
 
But for now it looks like the always-candidate-wannabe might find the third time lucky, running in a redrawn district that probably will provide enough Democrats to choke a horse.
 
The court's majority opinion was that Republican Congressman David Jolly's District 13 and Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor's District 14 must be redrawn to avoid crossing Tampa Bay. It looks right now as if District 13 is going to get the whole of blue St. Petersburg. St. Pete is Charlie's hometown. He lives there, he's comfortable there, he's a household word there. And Jolly gets it, too: He's already said he's out, and will pursue the U.S. Senate instead.

(The court ordered eight of the state’s 27 congressional districts redrawn, saying the configuration of each violated the 2010 Fair Districts constitutional amendment to stop gerrymandering.}   
 
John Morgan thinks prospects look good for his longtime friend. Florida's best known personal injury attorney and Crist's employer and political benefactor told Politico on July 9, "The seat would be tailor-made for Charlie. I haven’t spoken to Charlie about this ruling, but I would say it’s far more likely than not he would run for the seat if the seat came to him. The math is there.” 

True, 13 seems like a lucky number for a Democrat, unlucky for the Republican running in Jolly's place.
 
But none of this matters. There shouldn't be any speculation. Charlie is running. There's no maybe about it.
 
"Running" is the middle name of the man who went from Republican to partyless to Democrat inside four years.
 
This past winter he wanted to try a Senate run again, as he did in 2010, but even his closest pals advised against it.  In March, he said he wanted to run for Jolly's House seat, but only if Jolly was giving it up. He wanted a sure thing.
 

Now, he was told -- even by Morgan, his chief financial backer, even before Jolly ducked out -- that District 13 is "tailor-made" for him, it is that sure thing. When you've got a multimillionaire in your life and he's that supremely confident ...

Charlie will fight in a new District 13 now, despite rumors of Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, jumping into the race. 

Charlie wants to go to Washington. He and Carole have wanted that for a very long time. Now Washington presents itself -- and a stepping stone at that. From the House, he can run for Bill Nelson's Senate seat if Nelson passes on a fourth term. Or, he can stay in the House as long as he wants and lackey his way up the ladder, depending on which party controls the lower chamber and who wins the White House. No more hustling clients for Carole's beach-town boutique.

But there's one thing Charlie shouldn't do.

He shouldn't underestimate the GOP.

He shouldn't expect the Republicans to sit on their hands as this redraft goes down. Mark my words, they're already plotting a strategy to snatch victory in 13. They have money -- a lot of it -- and they play to win. Just saying. 

Chris Pack, regional press secretary of the National Republican Congressional Committee, may have set the tone for the battle ahead. He told Sunshine State News on Friday, "It's laughable that Charlie Crist still thinks he's a viable candidate for any office, including dog catcher. Maybe he'll run as a Green Party candidate this time since it's basically the only party he's yet to exploit."

Even without a single word from Charlie ... it begins.

Note: This column has been updated to reflect David Jolly's decision to pursue the U.S. Senate race.

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith

 

Comments

Please give the man a chance. He is not part of the Koch group.

amen

Rewriting districts, term limits, super PAC's, riders, etc. It's all just the by-product of one thing in politics today, money! You take the money out of politics, you will begin to see fairness return. Level the playing field, cut out all of the special interests. Until that happens, we will continue to see what we have, a corrupt system of gov't to the highest bidder and the continued equivalent of legalized racketeering.

I think Charlie Christ deserves a chance as a Democrat. He has good sense and good judgement. He lost this last time because of redistricting. But, hopefully they will redraw the lines in a fair way perhaps close to the way it was with St Pete being a part of district 13. I would not be so proud to actually push my cheating ways if I was a republican.

Charlie Crist just wants back in, you know, a good government job that will give him an income and retirement plan and then he can sit back and cruise the rest of his life and cut deals, etc., but doing it all for him.......not for the great people of Florida.

what about rick scott?

I dislike Crist and everything he stands for, but it really doesn't matter who we elect anymore. They all sit up there in DC and do nothing unless it is to benefit them. The whole election system needs revamped, from the elections to term limits to the super pacs. It's no wonder Trump is leading in the polls. The American people are just plain fed up.

i love charlie go i voted for you 2014

You made good points about Washington, DC. The system is broken and needs repair. Our U.S. Constitution needs to be amended to constitutionally prohibit Congress from using Riders (unrelated provisions added to legislation). H.J.Res. 40 introduced by Congressman Tom Marino proposes an amendment to the Constitution to provide that Congress shall pass no bill that addresses more than one subject which shall be clearly expressed in its title. For more information, see: www.SingleSubjectAmendment.com.

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nancy smith
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