Crist to speak for Dems at Gridiron

Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist (Fla.) will be the Democratic speaker at Washington's famed Gridiron dinner.

He will face off against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) at the March event.

Gridiron Club President Clark Hoyt of Bloomberg announced the selection in an email to members on Tuesday.

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"I'm delighted to announce that former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will be the Democratic speaker at the 2014 Gridiron Spring Dinner on Saturday, March 8. Crist will square off against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz representing the Republicans," Hoyt wrote in an email obtained by The Hill.

Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida, is running for his old job again — this time as a Democrat.

He left the gubernatorial office in 2010 to run for the Senate. During that race, being overtaken in polls by Republican candidate Marco Rubio (who went on to win the seat), Crist switched and ran as an independent. He joined the Democratic Party in 2012 and endorsed President Obama for reelection.

The Gridiron Dinner is one of Washington's oldest and most prestigious events. The white-tie gathering features some of the most prominent names in politics, and club membership is invitation-only.

The evening's speakers are usually seen as up-and-comers in the party. President Obama has only gone twice while in office and has not said if he'll attend this year's.