I can’t imagine how difficult the past year has been for you and the rest of the Crist family.
I am not referring to your loss last November to Rick Scott. As hard as that must have been, I know the real loss for you was the passing of your beautiful, graceful sister Margaret.
That’s why, as you prepare to embark on a campaign to represent the people of Pinellas County in the United States House of Representatives, I can give you only one piece of advice…
Let’s win this one for Margaret.
Let’s win this one for your dad (still my doctor, by the way), who deserves to see his son restored to public office.
Let’s win this one for the entire Crist family, which has given so much to our community.
The truth is I originally planned to title this post, “Don’t screw this up, Charlie.” That’s because this race is your last chance in the big game. As Amarillo Slim might say, you are down to a chip and a chair. There is no margin for error. But you know all of this already.
Still, I hope you learned something from your narrow defeat in 2014.
I hope, for your sake, you run your campaign more like you did when you were a Republican than how you did after you became a Democrat.
I hope you do not take lightly Eric Lynn. He has enough of the tools necessary — strong resume, ability to raise money — to upset you, even in St. Pete.
I hope you know our friend, Republican Rick Baker, is still out there, considering running against you. The best way to keep him on the sidelines is not by posting an eye-popping fundraising report but by showing him you are committed to a career in Congress and that your priority is our beloved St. Pete, not your beloved ambition.
I hope you mean what you recently told me about why you are running for this seat — about wanting to continue the legacy of Bill Young’s storied level of constituent service, about wanting to make sure St. Pete has a seat at the table again when it comes to budget issues.
Finally, I hope you realize the absolute providence of what has happened to line up this opportunity for you, Charlie. You should have been relegated, Alex Sink-style, to the sidelines of Florida politics.
Instead, you could overnight become the most recognizable face of Florida’s congressional delegation.
You could be St. Petersburg’s and Pinellas’ voice in Washington, D.C. You could be back on the path to something truly great.
And that would have made Margaret very proud.
P.S. It’s great to see that the classic Crist campaign logo has returned.