Charlie Crist to resign House seat amid Florida governor race

Southeast

Rep Charlie Crist, D-Fla., gestures after declaring victory Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Crist defeated Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in the Democratic gubernatorial primary election and will face incumbent Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in November. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

(NewsNation) — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, the Democratic nominee for governor of Florida, is resigning from the House as he heads into campaign season.

The Tampa Bay Times reports the resignation will be effective at the end of the day Wednesday. Crist put out a statement saying serving as a representative has been an “honor and privilege” but it did not mention a reason for the resignation, the newspaper said.

As The Hill notes, Crist’s resignation comes the week after his victory in Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial primary. He will face current Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in the general election. DeSantis in 2018 also resigned his own House seat after getting the GOP nomination for governor, CNN said.

Crist, according to The Hill, was previously governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011. Back then, he was a Republican but switched parties in 2012 before another unsuccessful gubernatorial run.

The Tampa Bay Times wrote that during his primary campaign for governor, Crist was criticized for his reliance on proxy voting. Proxy voting was permitted because of COVID-19, and Crist used that mechanism 107 times between January and April of this year by having another representative cast his vote on his behalf.

Crist’s office defended by proxy votes by saying he was still ensuring his consitutuents’ voices were heard, per The Tampa Bay Times.

After Crist’s departure, the House of Representatives will have 219 Democrats, 211 Republicans and five vacancies.

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