Crist resigns from House ahead of gubernatorial election
Rep. Charlie Crist (Fla.), the Democratic nominee for governor of Florida, is resigning from the House and leaving his term early as he heads into the height of campaign season.
Crist’s resignation will be effective at the end of the day on Wednesday, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
In a statement to the Tampa Bay Times, Crist said it was “an honor and a privilege” to represent his constituents in Congress, adding that “these achievements start and end with you, the people — my bosses — who have guided my work in Congress since Day One.”
His resignation comes the week after he won Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial primary to take on Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Crist had faced criticism earlier this year for heavily utilizing the House’s pandemic-era proxy voting rule, assigning a House colleague to vote on his behalf rather than traveling to Washington to vote in person.
Crist was previously the governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011 as a Republican, switching parties in 2012 before another unsuccessful gubernatorial run. He was elected to the House in 2016.
Florida’s St. Petersburg-area 13th Congressional District became much more Republican-leaning in this election cycle after the redistricting process. Republican Anna Paulina Luna, an Air Force veteran endorsed by former President Trump, will face Democrat Eric Lynn, a former Obama administration aide, in the November election for the seat. The Cook Political Report rates it as “likely Republican.”
Crist’s departure will leave the House with 219 Democrats, 211 Republicans, and five vacancies.