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FL Dem Charlie Crist Resigns From Congress To Focus On Gubernatorial Campaign Against DeSantis

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist announced that he will resign from Congress as he takes on Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in November’s general election.

The bizarre move will shrink Democrats’ thin majority in the U.S. House, which could complicate efforts to pass legislation before the midterms.

“U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) announced that effective close of business today, August 31, he will resign from his position as U.S. Representative for Florida’s 13th Congressional District. Staff for the Office of the 13th Congressional District of Florida will continue to provide casework and constituent services until representatives for the newly redistricted 13th and 14th congressional districts of Florida are sworn-in in January,” Crist said in a statement posted to his official congressional website.

“Serving as the Representative of Florida’s 13th Congressional District has been an honor and a privilege. When I first took office nearly six years ago, I vowed to defend our Veterans, bring jobs to Florida, fight climate change, and put people over politics. As I close out my time in Congress, I could not be prouder of the work we’ve done to uphold those promises – passing legislation to support our veterans, expanding solar energy in the Sunshine State, securing millions in direct funding for community projects, and returning over $6 million in earned benefits to the people of Pinellas,” Crist said in the statement.

“But these achievements start and end with you, the people – my bosses – who have guided my work in Congress since Day One. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for trusting me as your Representative in Washington. And God Bless the great people of Florida’s 13th Congressional District,” he added.

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As noted by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, Republicans are likely to flip Crist’s House seat.

Democrat Eric Lynn will face off against Anna Paulina Luna, a Trump-backed former Air Force veteran, to replace Crist in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

It’s likely that Republicans pick up the House seat as well as DeSantis defeats Crist in November’s general election.

A new poll taken after the Florida primary last week shows DeSantis leading Crist by 5 points.

“Impact Research released new polling that shows Gov. Ron DeSantis remains a favorite for re-election. He leads Democratic nominee Charlie Crist by 5 percentage points. But that 51% to 46% advantage is within the poll’s 3.5 percentage point margin of error, which applies to each candidate’s share of the vote,” Florida Politics reported.

DeSantis is also picking up major endorsements as the midterm election heats up.

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) and the Florida Retail Association formally endorsed DeSantis for re-election.

Carol Dover, FRLA President & CEO, praised DeSantis’s “strong” support of the industry, particularly throughout the pandemic.

“As Governor, Ron DeSantis has been a strong supporter of our industry, keeping hotels and restaurants safely open and operating when other states shut down. Governor DeSantis’ leadership saved countless jobs and businesses across our state and has enabled our industry to thrive once again,” Dover said.

“He understands the critical role that hospitality and tourism play in our state’s economic vitality, and we are confident he will continue to do so in his second term as Governor,” Dover added.

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DeSantis has been taking a lot of heat lately from his Democratic rivals in deep blue states, but the Republican leader got some great news on Wednesday from a noted libertarian-leaning think tank.

According to the CATO Institute, the Sunshine State is No. 1 in both fiscal and economic freedom and comes in second overall for personal freedom.

“Florida ranks #1 among the states for economic freedom!” DeSantis noted on Facebook following the release of CATO’s assessment.

Florida’s lack of an individual income tax was top on CATO’s list in measuring the state’s economic freedom, Breitbart News reported.

“Florida’s state-level tax collections are more than 1.5 standard deviations below the national average, whereas its local tax collections are a little lower than average. Florida’s fiscal decentralization does not offer a great deal of choice to homeowners, however, because the state has only about half an effective competing jurisdiction per 100 square miles,” CATO said.

“Government consumption and debt are lower than average. Government employment is much below average, falling from 11.2 percent of private employment in 2010 to 8.3 percent in 2019,” the group’s assessment continued.

 

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