Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist celebrated Juneteenth with children in Palatka.
BY JODI YONDER, Contributor
PALATKA, Fla. — Former governor and current U.S. Representative Charlie Crist worked his way through small-town Florida, celebrating Juneteenth weekend with Black business owners in Deland, participants at a community cultural event in Palatka, the Melanin Market of businesses, and the faith community at three churches in Jacksonville.
It was quite a schedule, but nothing new for Crist. He has been visiting Black communities in rural areas and big cities with equal vigor since May 2021, when he announced his candidacy against Governor Ron DeSantis. His opponents are rarely seen anywhere.
Absence from the campaign trail could prove fatal for a candidate. A recent poll shows Crist trouncing his Democratic opponent Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried by 25 points. He commands overwhelming support among Hispanics and voters under 30, but Black voters remain committed by a 34 percent margin.
He has also locked down endorsements from most groups, individuals, and organizations. Tallahassee City Commissioner Diane Williams Cox endorsed Crist early and said he believes in earning your vote.
“Charlie has gone where no gubernatorial candidate has gone before in the Black community. It’s a winning strategy. People must see you to tell you what’s on their mind. And right now, we need someone to believe in because DeSantis has targeted us.”
During a Juneteenth forum, Crist described how candidates should not treat voters. “They show up late and go away when they win. Not Charlie Crist.”