Charlie Crist joins Democratic Party

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has officially joined the Democratic Party, fueling speculation that he may run against Republican Gov. Rick Scott in 2014 after getting trounced in his 2010 Senate run.

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Crist announced his decision on Twitter Friday evening, saying he was “Proud and honored to join the Democratic Party in the home of President Barack Obama!” The tweet is accompanied by a photo of Crist holding a Florida voter registration application at a White House reception alongside his wife, Carole.

Crist, a one-term Florida governor, registered as an independent in 2010 when polls showed him trailing Marco Rubio in the Republican Senate primary for an open seat. Rubio won with about 50 percent of the vote, against 29 percent for Crist and less than 20 percent for Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek in a landslide year for Republicans.


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Crist has been gravitating toward the Democratic Party since then.

“Half a century ago, Ronald Reagan, the man whose relentless optimism inspired me to enter politics, famously said that he didn't leave the Democratic Party; the party left him. I can certainly relate,” Crist said at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. 

“I didn't leave the Republican Party; it left me. Then again, as my friend Jeb Bush recently noted, Reagan himself would have been too moderate and too reasonable for today's GOP.”