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Rick Kriseman now backing Charlie Crist in CD 13 contest

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A day after Charlie Crist announced in St. Petersburg last October that he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Congressional District 13, Rick Kriseman made his own statement by backing Crist’s then-opponent, Eric Lynn.

Now, a day after Lynn dropped out of the CD 13 contest, Kriseman is backing Crist for the seat.

“I have admired and worked with Charlie Crist for a long time and know that he will be a tremendous champion for all of us in our nation’s capital,” Kriseman said in a statement on Wednesday. “It’s time for all Democrats, and all citizens of District 13, to unite behind Charlie Crist.”

Lynn’s departure from the race on Tuesday allows the Pinellas County Democratic establishment to rally around the former governor, who is the odds-on favorite to succeed David Jolly in the Pinellas County-based congressional district.

Although Lynn was having trouble breaking through to the general public in the district, he had picked up a notable number of endorsements from local party officials, some wary of Crist’s history as a lifelong Republican until leaving the GOP to oppose Marco Rubio for the U.S. Senate seat in 2010.

Kriseman is in a bit of a pickle when it comes to the House District 68 seat in Pinellas County. After incumbent Dwight Dudley had announced last week he would not run for re-election, attorney Ben Diamond announced an intent to run, with some high-profile Democratic endorsements already in tow.

Now some of those Dems have been put in the position of picking a favorite among two of their own in Diamond and Lynn.

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

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