Tags: Crist | Hyers | campaign | quit

Charlie Crist Loses Gubernatorial Campaign Manager

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Dec 2013 09:42 AM

Just a month after former Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced he is running for his old job next year as a Democrat, his campaign manager, Bill Hyers, has quit.

Hyers was the mastermind behind the successful campaign of Democratic New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio.

"It's early. Our campaign structure is coming together. Bill wanted to stay in New York because it was good for him," Crist said in a brief email, dismissing talk that Hyers had had differences with the candidate's wife, Carole, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

The news comes amid speculation that Sen. Bill Nelson might throw his hat into the ring to challenge Crist in a Democratic primary.

Shortly before and after Crist filed his paperwork, a top Nelson aide began calling Democratic donors in the state, telling some that Nelson would run if Crist stumbles, reported The Miami Herald.

Nelson himself has sent mixed signals. A few weeks ago, he said he does not plan to enter the race, telling Politico, "What I've said all along is I have no intention of running. I wish Charlie Crist the best."

Later that same day, however, he told another Politico reporter that he might change his mind if Crist "gets into trouble." When asked what he meant by trouble, Nelson responded, "That's in the eye of the beholder."

On Tuesday, he dismissed the remark, explaining to the Tampa Bay Times  that he had been on crutches after a procedure on his knee and was trying to get on an escalator when the reporter asked him the question.

"I made some flip remark," he said, adding, "You should disregard it."

Crist was the Republican governor of Florida but decided against running for a second term in 2010 so he could mount a bid for the Senate. After losing in the GOP primary to Marco Rubio he left the Republican Party and last December joined the Democrats.

Several Democrats are concerned about Crist's chances of beating incumbent GOP Gov. Rick Scott, despite holding a consistent lead in the polls.

Shortly after the Tampa Bay Times reported Hyers' departure, the Republican Governors Association issued a press release stating, "Charlie Crist's campaign seems to be headed in the same direction he took Florida as governor—down and out."

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Just a month after former Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced he is running for his old job next year as a Democrat, his campaign manager, Bill Hyers, has quit.
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Wednesday, 04 Dec 2013 09:42 AM
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