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Florida's Former GOP Governor Joins Congressional New Democrats


Former Governor Charlie Crist is cementing a rare victory for his party by joining the Congressional New Democrat Coalition.

It says a lot about the Florida Democratic Party’s recent fortunes that electing former Gov. Charlie Crist to the U.S. House of Representatives was one of its biggest triumphs.  Crist spent most of his career as a Republican or NPA.

But Crist saw opportunity in a newly redrawn Southwestern district and on Friday he and 9 other Democrats were sworn in to the coalition. Founded in 1997, the centrist group focuses its energy on economic growth and national security.

Three of the nine, Darren Soto, Val Demings and Stephanie Murphy, are fellow Floridians.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.