Charlie Crist picks up endorsements from Orlando Sentinel, Palm Beach Post

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Democrat Charlie Crist received two leading newspaper endorsements this weekend, from the Orlando Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post, in his bid to return to the governor’s office.

Both papers see Crist as a flawed candidate, as the Sentinel points out not only his party switch, but also his evolution on the Affordable Care Act, reproductive rights, and the 2009 economic stimulus.

Nevertheless, Crist is a better choice for governor than incumbent Republican Rick Scott.

Scott’s campaign focused almost exclusively on the precipitous unemployment rate drop over the past four years — taking undue credit for something not completely under his control. The campaign is much more than that, says the editorial board of the Sentinel.

“For all of Crist’s political contortions during his failed Senate bid,” it writes, “his record as attorney general and governor shows less partisan ideology and more concern for average Floridians.”

Like most other endorsements, the Post also bemoaned the negative and occasionally nasty tone of the campaign, saying that it “drowned out much of where they stand on issues.”

Crist is the candidate best suited to “establish the priorities and tone of leadership needed to deal with those issues,” making it “clear that all Floridians matter,” says the Post.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.