TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - It's official. Former Republican governor Charlie Crist announced his second gubernatorial campaign, this time as a Democrat, at a rally Monday in Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg.
"I announce that I am running for Governor of Florida," Crist told the crowd. "I knew it was time to take Florida in a better direction," he said.
Click the video to see the official announcement.
Crist filed paperwork to get in the race Friday. He's now the Democratic front-runner in the contest to challenge Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most unpopular chief executives in the country. "I am running as a Democrat. And I am proud to do it," he said.
Democratic leaders see Crist as a charismatic candidate who can appeal to independent voters and lead them back to power.
But Republican officials paint Crist as a political opportunist with no principles. Scott is expected to spend as much as $25 million in attack ads to amplify that message in what will be one of the most watched races in the country.