Charlie Crist to keynote Hillsborough Dems J-J on May 11- What will he say?

The Hillsborough County Democratic Party has announced former Republican Governor Charlie Crist will keynote the county’s Jefferson-Jackson (or Kennedy-King as they call it) dinner on May 11th. Hillsborough County which is considered a bellwether in Florida elections will be a good test to see whether Crist, a newly registered Democrat will pass a litmus test with grassroots activists. Recent weeks have demonstrated growing concerns on the left about Crist’s potential 2014 candidacy and this has been coupled with the party establishment which seemed eager to embrace Crist, cooling on his possible gubernatorial run.

Crist has other options beyond running for Governor if he wants to return to elected office in the next several years. What will be interesting is to hear if Crist’s remarks are directed towards state government entirely or if he mixes federal issues into his comments.

The former Governor’s long established positions on reproductive rights, gun control, education and health care are all issues for progressives while his long standing and strong advocacy of civil rights and voting rights are a positive as he transitions to being a Democrat. Crist’s positions on the environment evolved through the years but now he can be considered better than many Democrats on those issues from a progressive perspective.

Will Crist strongly move to the left in his remarks, embracing gun control legislation and advocating stronger health care laws and spending? Will he continue to articulate strong views on the environment while soothing fears about his views on female reproductive rights?  Will he address the excesses of this legislative session including parent trigger and the male chauvinistic/sexist alimony reform bill?

Whatever Crist says, it will no doubt be fascinating.


  1. Get a clue · ·

    The local party in Hillsborough should be embarrassed.


  2. I agree, I am disappointed that they are giving Crist a platform. We have a good candidate in Nan Rich, the party should be getting behind her and supporting her! We don’t need any re-tread Republicans carrying our party banner! I am sad that Alan Clendenin is supporting this program!


    1. Dems in Action · ·

      You are right. We have a viable candidate in Nan Rich. She knows more about the needs of the people of this state than Crist will ever know. Many Dems have told me they will not vote for Crist.


    2. Alan Clendenin · ·

      Good evening IrvR,

      I support our party period!

      On May 11th the Hillsborough County will come together to support the local Democratic Party. I do no believe our party needs to be in a position to choose sides in a primary. We must allow the DEMOCRATIC process to work. I will never support the party tilting the table towards or away from any legitimate candidate.

      Last year Senator Nan Rich spoke at our dinner and just two weeks ago she was an honored guest at our DEC meeting. My very good friend Alex Sink may enter the race and we have all followed the rumors concerning Senator Nelson exploring a run.

      We will have a robust and healthy primary where the Democratic voters in Florida will have their say. Once we have a nominee we will ALL stand united to defeat the worst Governor in the nation.


      1. Respectfully sir because I backed you for FDP Chair please note Crist has not been a Democrat for even 6 months so letting him keynote is insulting. How can he talk to a partisan audience full of activists and workers? Maybe next year but now sorry Charlie.


  3. WN_Morris · ·

    “the male chauvinistic/sexist alimony reform bill”

    This in itself is sexist. I know liberals like to be feminists but this is like calling a black a n****

    Anything that in any way doesn’t tow the line on custody and alimony rights is “sexist.”

    This is SO WRONG on so many levels. Sorry, I respect the heck out of you but that was totally over the top and uncalled for. You are anti-man, a self hating man.


    1. How is it wrong? This legislature has consistently worked hard to take rights and freedoms away from females, and the alimony legislation just fits that same pattern.


  4. They should be embarrassed and WN go back on yoru meds.


  5. Charlie can’t win…despite the polls. The only poll that he should go by is all the bullshit being blow up his a***** by those who are corrupt and out of touch. WE WILL NOT VOTE FOR CRIST.


  6. This Hillsborough Democrat is embarrassed and won’t be attending.


  7. Molder · ·

    So the Hillsborough party is promoting charLIE and his quixotic efforts to move back to the Governor’s mansion.

    Watch out Tampa area Ds Pinocchio’s nose may hit you if you are in one of the front rows during his remarks!


  8. He’ll say whatever he thinks that the audience wants to hear.


  9. The leadership of the. Hillsborough Democratic Executive Committee have sold off their DEC to the highest bidder. In this case, its Crist. The leadership I. Hillsborough is without a backbone and have easily placed our party’s values aside in order to profit financially. This is a sad day for Florida Democrats when the former chair of the FDP’s Platform Committee is complicit.

    The Hillsborough Chair and Statecommitteeman are well aware of the grievances many have with Crist’s prominent role at their annual fundraiser. Yet, neither care to make any attempt to act like a Democrat and fight for our party’s values.

    The situation becomes even more tragic when you consider the Statecommitteeman is self reported to be an openly gay man, yet he could care less to demand Crist host a genuine dialogue with LGBT leaders and media throughout the state. Crist and the Hillsborough DEC leadership have robbed LGBT Democrats of their dignity and respect.

    I guess in politics I should have expected this and should have predicted that equal rights for LGBT people would be the sacrificial lamb as they collude in a dark closet.


  10. WN is nuts………its probably a D that supported the bill freaking out. We might disagree about policy but stand by your vote with a good reason instead of having a temper tantrum on a blog seriously


  11. Ella K Coffee · ·

    The dinner is named Kennedy King, not JJ after a very racist, slave owning, murderer as was Andrew Jackson. If you are concerned with the facts.


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