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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist trying to become 6th ex-gov since 1900 to win back job after changing party



From Smart Politics:

Charlie Crist is seeking to become the sixth ex-governor to win back the governorship after changing his partisan stripes since 1900. The five who have done it successfully:

  • Philip La Follette of Wisconsin served as a Republican during his first term (1931-1933) before switching to the Progressive Party for his last two (1935-1939)
  • Wild Bill Langer of North Dakota was elected as a Republican to his first term (1933-1934) and then, after being removed from office and seeing his wife lose as the GOP candidate in 1934, ran again and won as an independent for his second term (1937-1939).
  • Mills Godwin of Virginia served as a Democrat during his first term (1966-1970) and a Republican during his second (1974-1978)
  • Wally Hickel of Alaska served as a Republican during his first stint as governor (1966-1969), was elected under the Alaska Independence Party banner for his second (1990-1994), but then rejoined the GOP at the end of his term.
  • Fob James of Alabama was elected as a Democrat for his first gubernatorial victory (1979-1983), lost as a Democrat in two subsequent primaries, and then won as a Republican for his second term (1995-1999)

Unlike Crist, who will return to office after just a four-year absence if he is victorious in 2014, some governors waited decades before they won back their job. As for Crist's odds, more than half of ex-governors have been victorious in general election bids to return to their old seats since the end of World War II, although the success rate has been just 41 percent against incumbents.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 3, 2014 10:44am]


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