As the Democratic primary for Florida governor heats up, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist announced an endorsement Monday from one of the most notable, and controversial, names in national politics — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“From his tireless work in Congress to his commitment to Floridians across the state, Charlie Crist has an impenetrable record of fighting for the people of the Sunshine State and delivering results that matter,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Crist has served three terms in Congress representing Florida’s 13th District. He was previously Florida governor, as a Republican, from 2007-2011.
Crist is running in the Democratic gubernatorial primary against Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and state Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami, his former running mate in 2014.
All are vying to replace Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Crist said in a statement that the endorsement was an honor and that Pelosi’s “leadership uplifts the voices of all Floridians that are ready to put divisive, inflammatory rhetoric behind us and truly get to work for the people.”
Crist has led the pack among Democrats when it comes to fundraising, but trails far behind DeSantis and his available campaign funds. The action committee Friends of Ron DeSantis has more than $136 million available as of April. Crist has raised just over $8 million.
While Pelosi is one of the largest figureheads in the Democratic Party, she’s frequently attacked by the right, and the endorsement could give conservatives reason to be skeptical of Crist.