Tonight, there is confirmation that Charlie Crist, the former Republican Florida Governor and loser to Marco Rubio (R) in the 2010 GOP Primary as a GOPer and the General Election, once again to Rubio and Kendrick Meek (D), as an Independent, has officially switched his party registration to the Democratic Party from Independent.
Former Republican Governor Charlie Crist has officially joined the Democratic Party, he announced on Friday evening.
The change became official at a White House Christmas reception, the Tampa Bay Times reports, where “President Obama greeted the news with a fist bump.”
Crist — Florida’s former Republican governor who relished the tough-on-crime nickname “Chain Gang Charlie” and used to describe himself variously as a “Ronald Reagan Republican” and a “Jeb Bush Republican” — on Friday evening signed papers changing his party from independent to Democrat.
The widely expected move positions Crist, 56, for another highly anticipated step: announcing his candidacy for governor, taking on Republican incumbent Gov. Rick Scott and an untold number of Democrats who would challenge him for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
Crist has been registered with no party affiliation since the spring of 2010, when his Republican candidacy for U.S. Senate was fizzling against Republican upstart Marco Rubio. Since losing that race, he has been steadily inching toward the Democratic Party, first when his wife, Carole, switched her affiliation to Democrat and later when he threw himself into Obama’s re-election campaign, earning a prominent speaking slot during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.