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Charlie Crist named to DCCC’s “Red-to-Blue” program

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Charlie Crist has been added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) list of of 2016 candidates for their “Red to Blue” program, which highlights strong Democratic candidates running in open seats and districts held by Republicans that the DCCC hope to flip this November.

The program offers these candidates financial, communications, grassroots, and strategic support. In most cases, the Democrats are first-time candidates, and such recognition gives encouragement and confidence in them that the party believes that they have a somewhat legitimate chance to swing the district.

In that respect, Charlie Crist perhaps doesn’t need that boost of confidence. Not only does he have huge name recognition as the former governor of Florida, but he’s also the beneficiary of favorable redistricting of Congressional District 13, with the Pinellas County seat now including far more Democrats than it did a year ago.

That redistricting was a major factor in David Jolly opting out of running for re-election and aiming to succeed Marco Rubio in the Senate.

Crist got another break recently when his lone Democratic party opponent, former Defense Department adviser Eric Lynn, dropped out of the race and instead run in a state house seat.

“House Democrats are on offense and will pick up seats in November, and these talented and diverse candidates are the foundation of our success. From their campaign teams, to their field game, to their engagement of supporters and voters in their districts, these candidates are ready to take the fight to House Republicans. The American people deserve a House of Representatives that fights for progress and opportunity, not obstruction,” said Chairman Ben Ray Luján.

Here is the list of other Democrats named to the Red-to-Blue program on Friday.

AZ-01 – Tom O’Halleran
CA-10 – Michael Eggman
CA-25 – Bryan Caforio
CO-03 – Gail Schwartz
FL-13 – Charlie Crist
MN-03 – Terri Bonoff
MT-AL – Denise Juneau
NH-01 – Carol Shea-Porter
NY-22 – Kim Myers
NY-23 – John Plumb
NY-24 – Colleen Deacon
PA-08 – Steve Santarsiero
VA-04 – Don McEachin
WI-08 – Tom Nelson

The best known Republican in the race is Mark Bircher, who ran for the seat back in 2014.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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