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US Rep. Charlie Crist announces campaign for governor of Florida, running as Democrat

Charlie Crist is the first Democrat to announce a campaign for governor, but insiders expect some other big names to enter the race.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist announced he is running for Florida governor in a Twitter video Tuesday morning, followed by a formal announcement at a news conference in St. Petersburg.

Scroll down to view Crist's full announcement.

The former Florida attorney general and governor is now the first Democrat to officially announce a run for governor against incumbent Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2022.

"Florida should be a place where hard work is rewarded, justice is equal, and opportunity is right in front of you," Crist tweeted. "That's a Florida for all — and that's why I'm running for Governor."

Though the first to launch his campaign, Crist will likely face competition from fellow Democrats. According to Politico, Democratic insiders are buzzing about possible gubernatorial campaigns from U.S. Rep. Val Demmings (D-Orlando), as well as Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the only state-level elected Democrat in Florida.

The Tampa Bay Times reports other potential candidates include state Senators Annette Taddeo and Randolph Bracy and state Representative Anna Esakmani.

Crist was Florida's governor from 2007 to 2011, but was elected to office as a Republican. As a Republican, Crist served as a state senator, education commissioner, attorney general and governor, before leaving the party in 2010 rather than lose a GOP primary against now Sen. Marco Rubio.

Crist reinvented himself as a Democrat in 2014, winning the gubernatorial nomination but ultimately losing the race to incumbent Rick Scott. In 2016, he won the U.S. House of Representatives seat for FL-13, a seat he has occupied since.

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