TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who was elected the state's chief executive as a Republican and then ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate as an independent, announced on Twitter on Friday night that he's switching to the Democratic Party.
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The announcement fanned speculation that Crist would seek to regain his old job from Republican Gov. Rick Scott in 2014.
Crist sent out a tweet that said, "Proud and honored to join the Democratic Party in the home of President (at)Barack Obama!"
The tweet included a photo of a smiling Crist and his wife Carole as he held up a Florida voter registration application. The Tampa Bay Times reports that Crist signed the papers changing his affiliation from independent to Democrat at a Christmas reception at the White House. President Barack Obama greeted the news with a fist bump.
"I've had friends for years tell me, 'You know Charlie, you're a Democrat and you don't know it,'" Crist told the newspaper Friday night.
He cited the Republican Party's shift to the right on a range of issues, including immigration, education and the environment.