While Attorney Gen. Charlie Crist sat next to CFO Tom Gallagher on the Capitol steps during a law enforcement memorial, one of TV’s most notable crime fighters, John Walsh, was filing the documents making Crist the first mainstream Republican seeking to replace Jeb Bush.
John Walsh says, "As a crime victim myself, he has demonstrated that he really cares about victims."
Asked if he told his likely rival Gallagher about the filing when he was standing next to him, he responded: "No, I didn’t, but I gave him a mint."
On the issues, a humble Crist promised to make crime and education his top priorities.
Charlie Crist says, "That we have the opportunity to fight for less taxes, less government and more freedom."
With the attorney general now officially in the race and the lieutenant governor and CFO soon to be there, this is going to be the most hotly contested and longest race for governor that Republicans have had in recent history.
This year, lawmakers eliminated the runoff primary for good. If Jeb Bush signs the bill, political scientist Lance DeHaven Smith says the end of the runoff will complicate inter-Republican Party relations.
Lance says, "A lot of it will depend on the fundraising, how they do early on, and really who has the stamina to get in there and make it to the primary."
The Crist filing is one more sign the end is near for Jeb Bush.
Gov. Jeb Bush says, "As long as we are advocating ideas and some of them are embraced and some of them aren’t, we are not going backwards."
Bush did promise to campaign vigorously no matter who the GOP nominee may be.
Among the other candidates expected to follow suit in filing: Tom Gallagher, Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings, former Democratic Party chair Scott Maddox, Gainesville Rep. Rod Smith and Congressman Jim Davis of Tampa.