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Florida Roundup

Rep. Crist's Run For Governor; Mayors Discuss DeSantis Suspending COVID Restrictions

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CHRIS O'MEARA / ASSOCIATED PRESS
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U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, gestures while he speaks to supporters during a campaign rally as he announces his run for Florida governor Tuesday, May 4, 2021, in St. Petersburg.

This week, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, announced he’s running for governor in 2022.

Crist has had a long career in Florida politics, serving as a Repubican before becoming a Democrat. He’s been elected to the state Legislature and served as education commissioner. He was also elected attorney general, and governor, all as a Republican. 

He finished second in a three-candidate U.S. Senate race as an Independent. 

Then, as a Democrat, he fell short in a governor's race against then-incumbent Republican Rick Scott by less than a percentage point. Now Crist is serving his third term in Congress - as a Democrat.

We spoke to Crist, as well as Steve Contorno, Political Editor for the Tampa Bay Times, about Crist's  bid.

COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

This week Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order suspending local pandemic-related emergency orders and health restrictions immediately, and a new law that restricts local orders.

We spoke to St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and St. Augustine Mayor Tracy Upchurch about the emergency orders and law, as well as the situation in their areas.

Heather Schatz can be reached at hschatz@wjct.org or on Twitter at @heatherschatz.