From St. Pete to Washington, Charlie Crist has been fighting for the people his whole life. For Charlie Crist, every Floridian is a neighbor and working to help his neighbors and fighting for what’s right is a lifelong calling.
Charlie has dedicated his life to public service. He’s been tested by the toughest challenges. When Florida was hit with the Great Recession, Charlie led — bringing Floridians together to save the jobs of 20,000 teachers while cutting taxes for seniors. When the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe struck, Charlie led — marshalling resources and expertise to protect the environment and holding BP accountable after the devastating oil spill.
And as the coronavirus pandemic spread through Florida, Charlie led — fighting in Congress for aid for struggling small businesses, helping deliver relief checks to millions of Floridians, and leading an effort to ensure veterans had access to the vaccine.
Now, as Florida faces the urgent task of rebuilding our economy from the pandemic, Charlie is running for Governor to put you back in charge, so you have a governor who works for the people — not the special interests and wealthy donors. Together, we can build a Florida for all Floridians.
His whole career, Charlie has honored the “Golden Rule,” working to build unity rather than fueling division, to restore civility rather than rejecting those who have a different view. Charlie believes that this is a moment for inclusion rather than exclusion, for openness rather than secrecy, for solving our greatest challenges by working together.
Charlie’s story is the story of American opportunity. Charlie’s grandfather immigrated to the United States in 1912 from the island of Cyprus. He arrived in Ellis Island with only pennies in his pocket, but full of determination to succeed in his new country. He started out making five dollars a month shining shoes, saving his hard-earned money with the dream of one day opening a small dry cleaning business.
Charlie’s grandfather cleaned clothes for years so that his son, Charlie’s father, Charles Crist, Sr., could go to college and become a doctor, ultimately raising four kids in America’s middle class, including Charlie, who was born in 1956.
When Charlie was three, his parents moved to St. Petersburg. Charlie grew up in Florida’s “Sunshine City”, attending public schools in St. Pete. In high school Charlie was the starting quarterback for his football team. He later played football at Wake Forest University before transferring and receiving his undergraduate degree from Florida State in 1978. Charlie then earned his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama.
“My family’s story is an American story, about American opportunity. All the opportunities provided to my grandfather, an immigrant to this country who didn’t speak English. The values my mom and dad taught me here in Pinellas County. It’s unique to our Florida.” — Charlie Crist
Charlie has dedicated his life to fighting for opportunity and fairness for every Floridian. Over his career in public service, he has served as State Senator, Commission of Education, Attorney General, Governor, and Congressman.
As Florida’s 44th Governor from 2007 to 2011, Charlie Crist led Florida through the Great Recession and the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill, always keeping his word to fight for the people. He helped lower the cost of doing business and living in Florida, increase transparency in government, strengthen Florida’s economy and ensure the safety and world-class education of Florida’s children.
Today, as the Congressman from Florida’s 13th District, Charlie Crist fights to create opportunities so every Floridian can thrive. In 2016, Charlie flipped a Republican seat and won election to Congress. Since then, he has built a record of working across the aisle to make meaningful change for Florida families. He worked with the Biden Administration to pass the American Rescue Plan, delivering billions of dollars to Floridians to rebuild from the pandemic. He supported the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act to reimagine law enforcement and restore trust between police and the communities they serve.