Former Governor Charlie Crist isn’t on the ballot until November in his effort to become a Congressman in his hometown of St. Petersburg, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the former Republican turned Democrat could be a factor in multiple primary races next week.
As Governor, Charlie Crist had sky high approval ratings, but now, from one end of the state to the other, Crist has become the boogeyman for conservative Republicans. In the GOP Primary for the Second congressional district, opponents are slamming each other for their ties to Crist.
One ad supporting Neal Dunn takes Mary Thomas to task for having worked for Charlie Crist. “Even after Crist left the republican Party, Thomas kept collecting her government paycheck as a senior member of his administration.”
But an ad from a PAC supporting Thomas asks “Who is Neal Dunn? A liberal lobbyist, Obama Car loving, Charlie Crist republican.”
Crist is also the ogre in Jacksonville’s fourth congressional district race that slams candidate Hans Tanzler.
“Then he used his money to support Democrats and Charlie Crist.”
In Ft. Myers, he’s the object of shame in a heated State Senate race. An ad for Kathleen Passidomo says this about opponent Matt Hudson. “He voted for Crist’s massive tax increase and all those Obama stimulus dollars.”
And Crist is even being compared to Marco Rubio by Senate Candidate Carlos Beruff, even though the two have never gotten along.
“Both abandoned Florida. Conclusion: Rubio and Crist are virtually identical.”
So why is Charlie Crist so big a target. We asked Political Scientist Carol Weissert.
“So you are talking about main stream Republicans here, and I think they were offended by his what they might call being a turncoat” says Weissert.
We reached out to the former Governor more than a week ago for a comment. He didn’t return our text.
But like it or not, the former Governor could be a factor this coming Tuesday, and he’s not even on the ballot.
While the former Governor did not return Mike’s text, his media advisor, Kevin Cate, did say in an email that he wouldn’t touch this story, quote, with a ten foot pole.”