Compilation of reactions to Charlie Crist’s win & beginning of general election in Florida’s governor’s race

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Gov. Charlie Crist has won the Democratic nomination to seek his old job with his new party.

The victory Tuesday is another step in Crist’s attempt at a political comeback. He will now face Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Here is a compilation of reactions and statements to Crist’s win and the commencement of the general election in Florida’s governor’s race.

Governor Rick Scott:

“The next few months are about talk versus action. That means Florida will have a choice between a governor who sent our state into a tailspin and a governor who gets results. Charlie Crist failed as governor, lost 830,000 jobs, and tried to run off to Washington – and now he wants his job back. We’ve come a long way in the last few years, but there’s plenty of work left to do. Let’s keep working.”

The Democratic National Committee’s Debbie Wasserman Schultz

“I would like to congratulate all of the Democratic candidates who won their primary contest tonight, including the next governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, and the next lieutenant governor of Florida, Annette Taddeo. Over the course of this campaign, Charlie and Annette have embraced policies that will help Florida’s middle class families, a stark contrast to the current governor, Republican Rick Scott, who is beholden to special interests and radical Tea Party ideology.

“After overseeing the largest Medicare fraud in history, it is ironic that as governor, Scott has notably failed to secure federal funding for Medicaid expansion. He has cut over $1 billion from Florida’s public schools, and oversaw tuition hikes at Florida’s colleges and universities while making cuts to the Bright Futures scholarship program. His climate change denialism ignores the serious risks that rising sea levels and severe weather pose to Florida’s communities and our economy. Scott has offered the Hispanic community little more than platitudes and pandering. To add insult to injury, he refuses to answer the most basic questions, let alone face Florida’s toughest challenges.

“Charlie and Annette join Democratic candidates throughout Florida and across the country who are committed to expanding opportunity for all Americans. Republicans, especially those like Scott, have demonstrated that their priorities are instead focused on the select few. Come November, Florida voters will reject the failed policies of Rick Scott and welcome a new day for the Sunshine State.”

The Florida Democratic Party’s Allison Tant:

“I congratulate Charlie Crist on his strong victory tonight. Democrats across Florida are ready to work harder than we’ve ever worked to elect Charlie Crist governor of Florida. In his long record of service to the Sunshine State, Charlie has always put the people first. As Governor, he saved the jobs of 20,000 teachers, cut property taxes, and made record investments in public schools. If we send him back to Tallahassee, he’ll restore Rick Scott’s cuts in education, invest in infrastructure and new technologies, and grow Florida’s economy from the middle class out. That’s the kind of leadership Floridians deserve.
“I commend Senator Nan Rich on running a campaign of principle, courage, and tireless effort. In sixteen years in the state legislature, she stood strong for the middle class and for all those struggling to get into the middle class. All Florida Democrats respect and admire Nan for her work for our state.
“This campaign will come down to who Floridians trust to fight for them, and they know that Charlie Crist has always been on the side of the people. Rick Scott has spent the last four years selling Florida to the highest bidder with taxpayer funded giveaways to big corporations while cutting education and turning his back on the middle class. Democrats have never been more energized to win an election than tonight. With Charlie Crist as our nominee, Democrats are fired up, ready to work hard, and ready to win in November.”

The Republican Governors Association’s Chris Christie:

“Florida is working again, and the state’s recent successes are a direct result of Governor Rick Scott’s results-driven leadership. Governor Scott seized the opportunity to deliver real results and improve the way of life for all Floridians. Under Governor Scott, Florida’s unemployment rate has plummeted nearly 5 percent, taxes have been cut over 40 times, and the state has seen a jobs boom to the tune of over 600,000 new private sector jobs. Governor Scott has an outstanding record of achievement, and the Republican Governors Association is proud to support his re-election.”

NextGen Climate Florida state director Jackie Lee:

“We now move on to the general election phase of the campaign, and in Florida there is a stark contrast between the candidates for governor. Floridians can’t afford to re-elect Governor Rick Scott. As a climate change denier, Gov. Scott has proven he looks out for the special interests and puts their profits above the health and safety of Floridians.

“In November, voters will have an opportunity to elect Charlie Crist, someone that believes in the overwhelming evidence of climate change and can acknowledge the challenges we face, both to Florida’s coastlines and our state’s economy.

“NextGen Climate is committed to making voters aware of the differences between these two candidates.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.