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The Charlie Crist saga begins anew …

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

It’s only been a couple of days since former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist tweeted his intentions to run for Congressional District 13 and both SaintPetersblog and Florida Politics have been on top of the coverage.

Extensive Enterprises head hauncho Peter Schorsch has written about the irony in gerrymandered districts opening the door for yet another political bid. It was the 1992 “Bug Splat” district in South St. Pete, Manatee, Hillsborough and Polk counties that got him his start in the Florida House of Representatives.

Then he mused about the appropriateness of how Mayors Bob Buckhorn and Rick Kriseman responded to a potential Crist congressional bid. It’s all great fodder and super fun for us politicos.

But we’re not the only game in town.

The Tampa Bay Times has a fun little Buzz on the historical significance of yet another Crist loss. As Times reporter Alex Leary pulls from Smart Politics, if a Crist CD 13 bid is unsuccessful he will be one of only three major party nominees in Florida history to lose races for governor, U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Oh, and he’d be the first in nearly a century.


Interesting though that may be, a new St. Pete Polls survey shows Crist is, as Schorsch put it, more popular than free ice cream. He’s leading Eric Lynn by more than 60 points. And of course, if estimations of a newly drawn CD13 are correct, the district will likely lean left.

But then over at the Tampa Tribune, that clear-cut lead isn’t so clearcut. Columnist Joe Henderson points out a number of hurtles Crist will have to clear, but most notably that this isn’t the first time he seemed a shoo-in and then lost.

Henderson spoke to one of the Tampa Bay area’s most prominent political scientists, Darryl Paulson, who also said that maybe, just maybe, voters will recognize Crist’s “one and done” track record. In six elected offices, he’s never once run for re-election.

However the scenario plays out, good ole Charlie is great fun for writers and bloggers and we are all most certainly busting out our fans.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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