Charlie Crist, Florida's former Republican governor who fled the party to become a Democrat, told supporters he wants to reclaim the office next year, setting up a campaign-spending spree that may eclipse the more than $100 million spent in 2010's record-breaking race.
Crist, 57, said at a rally in Saint Petersburg Monday that he wants to oust his successor, Republican Gov. Rick Scott, whose approval rating in Quinnipiac University polls has been below 50 percent since he was elected in 2010.
The former governor's entry into the race opens the spigot of spending for consultants, pollsters and advertising agencies from both parties.
Crist has criticized Scott, 60, for pledging to spend $100 million on the race, and has embraced populist themes while pitching himself as "the people's governor."
Scott, a former chief executive officer at HCA Holdings, has raised more than $18.7 million for the 2014 race.
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