© 2023 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Charlie Crist has resigned from Congress to focus on his run for Florida Governor

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist waves to supporters in Hialeah, Fla., Aug. 27, 2022.
Gaston De Cardenas
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist waves to supporters in Hialeah, Fla., Aug. 27, 2022.

About a week after winning Florida’s Democratic primary for governor, Charlie Crist has submitted his resignation from Congress.

Crist, who will face Gov. Ron DeSantis in the November election, issued a statement thanking voters in Congressional District 13 in Pinellas County for “trusting me as your representative.”

Crist was elected to the seat in 2016 and re-elected in 2018 and 2020.

“When I first took office nearly six years ago, I vowed to defend our veterans, bring jobs to Florida, fight climate change and put people over politics,” Crist said in the statement. “As I close out my time in Congress, I could not be prouder of the work we’ve done to uphold those promises.”

Crist, a former governor, attorney general, education commissioner and state senator, easily defeated Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in the Aug. 23 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Republicans criticized Crist’s resignation, which was set to be effective at the end of Wednesday.

“Charlie Crist treats taxpayer-funded jobs like a game of musical chairs,” Republican National Committee spokeswoman Julie Friedland said in a statement. “Floridians can’t wait to cut the music on his career for good in November.”

When DeSantis ran for governor in 2018, he also submitted his resignation from Congress after a primary victory. In his letter to then-U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, DeSantis said the move was to “protect the taxpayers” as “it is clear to me that I will likely miss the vast majority of our remaining session days for this Congress.”