Charlie Crist has been fighting for the people of Florida his whole life. For Charlie, 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 — saving 20,000 teacher jobs and cutting taxes for seniors. When the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe struck, Charlie led — holding BP accountable. And when reproductive freedom was under attack in Florida, Charlie led — voting down anti-choice legislation in the 1990’s as a State Senator, and vetoing a restrictive measure as Governor.
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 efforts to prioritize veterans’ access to the vaccine.
Now, as Florida faces an affordability crisis that is squeezing working families more than ever — from housing costs to gas prices — Charlie is ready to make Florida affordable again, and build a Florida that all Floridians can call home.
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.
Charlie will do that by doing as he has always done, honoring 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 moment calls for inclusion rather than exclusion, for openness rather than secrecy, and for solving our greatest challenges by working together.
As Florida’s next governor, Charlie will stand up when our freedoms are under attack by partisan politicians. Charlie will protect the freedom of businesses, families, and communities to speak without fear of political retribution. And he’ll ensure Black and Hispanic communities have access to the ballot box, protect the freedom for women to choose, and defend the LGBTQ+ community’s freedom to be themselves.
Charlie’s own story is one 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 the 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.
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, Commissioner 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.
- He prevented massive teacher layoffs during the recession, working with the Obama Administration to use federal stimulus funding to save 20,000 teachers’ jobs.
- He stopped radical attacks on women’s rights, vetoing laws to restrict a woman’s right to choose.
- He led efforts to protect civil rights, taking action to automatically restore voting rights of non-violent ex-felons and to extend voting hours across the state for all Floridians.
- A staunch environmental advocate, he secured a landmark land acquisition to preserve the Florida Everglades, and fought to hold BP accountable after the 2010 oil spill that ravaged Florida’s coastline.
- He lowered property insurance rates by 10% by doing what is right for the people and holding the insurance companies accountable.
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. President Trump signed his Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act into law to get veterans the help they need instead of jail time. He also established the Spam Calls Task Force, to get every agency of government working together to fight the scourge of spam calls.
And alongside President Biden, Charlie supported the once-in-a-generation Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, while leading the fight for affordable flood insurance, more solar energy, and a permanent ban on drilling off Florida’s coasts. And with the American Rescue Plan, Crist helped deliver billions of dollars to the State of Florida to stabilize the budget, preventing devastating cuts and tax hikes.