Former Governor Charlie Crist of Florida, who was elected to that position as a member of the Republican Party, then lost a campaign for the U.S. Senate running as an independent, announced via Twitter that he would become a member of the Democratic Party.
His announcement has fanned speculation he would seek his former job as Florida governor in 2014 against current Governor Rick Scott who is a Republican.
Crist’s tweet said he was honored and proud to become a member of the Democrats. In the tweet was a photo of Crist smiling alongside Carol his wife while he held up a voter registration card from Florida.
Crist apparently signed his registration papers changing his party affiliation to Democrat from independent at a White House Christmas reception. President Obama said he was pleased to hear the news.
Crist cited his former party’s shift further to the right on a number of issues including education, the environment and immigration as reasons for joining the Democrats.
In 2006, Crist was elected governor of Florida while a member of the GOP. In 2010, in an attempt to win a seat in the U.S. Senate, Crist ran as an independent. However, he lost in a three-way contest for the Senate seat to Marco Rubio.
Crist gave a speech this past September in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Democratic National Convention. His decision to become a Democrat will increase recent speculation that he will challenge Scott, a former CEO of a hospital chain, who has had a difficult time with low popularity ratings since becoming Governor.
Crist was critical of Scott for not extending the early voting despite requests by Senator Bill Nelson and other members of Congress.