Crist Seeks Help from Obama Aides in Fla. Gov Bid

Image: Crist Seeks Help from Obama Aides in Fla. Gov Bid

Tuesday, 21 Jan 2014 06:21 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Charlie Crist, who is seeking the 2014 Democratic nomination for Florida governor, has asked two of President Barack Obama's re-election campaign strategists to be his advisers, The Washington Post reports.

Crist served as Florida's Republican governor from 2007 to 2011. He then sought a soon-to-be vacated U.S. Senate seat but was defeated by the tea party-aligned Marco Rubio. Crist then quit the GOP, becoming first an independent and then a Democrat.

Political consultant Jim Messina, Obama's 2012 campaign manager, and a former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, will provide general advice to Crist.

Obama's digital campaign specialist Tedd Goff will handle digital outreach.

Messina will also be busy working on British Prime Minister David Cameron's 2015 Conservative Party re-election campaign, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Bill Hyers, who helped catapult Bill de Blasio to New York's City Hall had also been about to join the Crist campaign but decided abruptly not to go to Florida, New York Magazine reported.

The Obama campaign credited Crist with going out of his way to help the president carry the state in 2012.

"He did whatever we asked and was very helpful giving strategic advice," Messina told The Miami Herald. "He gave a very important Democratic National Convention speech... It framed the election in an important way. And he was very important to the fact that Barack Obama won Florida," the Post reported.

Incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott will face the winner of the August Democratic primary.

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