Charlie Crist embarks on ‘Hope For Florida’ tour to close out Primary

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With less than two weeks left before the Democratic Primary Election, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist is embarking on an expansive, 10-day tour across Florida to energize voters and convince them he’s their best chance to beat Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Crist’s campaign said his “Hope For Florida” tour will see him “aggressively” campaign in several major cities — including Daytona Beach, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Pensacola — to share his vision of a “Florida for All.”

The tour kicks off Saturday in South Florida. Crist’s campaign said it will release a daily public schedule to the media one day before events alerting them of times and locations.

Since launching his campaign in May 2021, Crist has raised more than $14 million through the end of July. He also received an endorsement from the state’s largest labor union and earned support from nearly 200 elected officials and community leaders. That includes a nod this week from Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who called Crist “the leader this moment calls for.”

The “Hope For Florida” tour is Crist’s 25th statewide trip this Primary cycle, his campaign said. It follows the release of a new campaign ad, titled “The Hug,” reminding voters of Crist’s embrace in 2009 of then-President Barack Obama over federal stimulus money coming to Florida during the Great Recession.

Pundits point to that moment as the beginning of Crist’s self-reinvention from a Republican to a Democratic Congressman.

One of the most widely recognized symbols of Obama’s presidential campaign was artist Shepard Fairey’s poster, “Hope.”

“Our campaign is building the strongest movement to defeat Ron DeSantis, and it’s everyday Floridians who are at the forefront of this fight,” Crist said in a statement. “Whether it’s protecting a woman’s right to choose, improving public schools, or delivering a more affordable Florida — we know what’s at stake this November.”

He continued, “We will leave no community behind and no stone unturned. Together, we can and will defeat Gov. DeSantis, and create a Florida that works for all Floridians.”

In terms of fundraising, endorsements and polling, Crist has emerged as the front-runner in a four-way Democratic Primary that includes Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat.

Early voting is underway throughout Florida, including in South Florida. The Primary Election is on Aug. 23, followed by the General Election on Nov. 8.

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