During the regular business meeting of the St Johns County Republican Executive Committee Thursday evening, Secretary and Executive Board member Eric West, read to the membership a resolution denouncing Florida’s former Republican Governor, Charlie Crist: apparently in response a speaking appearance at the Democratic National Convention.
Historic City News editor, Michael Gold, also a member of the Republican Executive Committee, attended the meeting and ensuing debate. “This was not a unanimous resolution,” Gold reported. “The majority in attendance did vote to approve the somewhat contentious resolution”.
Those who dissented from the resolution questioned the timing of its submission and adoption. State Committeewoman Becky Reichenberg remarked that the better time to make such a resolution was before Crist spoke at the convention. Further, there was discussion that questioned if the leadership in the Republican Party of Florida, who will receive the resolution, will accept or act upon it.
“I have always known Charlie Crist to be a, pro-life, balanced-budget, advocate for smaller government, conservative causes, our military and law enforcement,” Reichenberg said during the meeting. “I don’t believe that those in the leadership of the party believe Crist has changed those core values that define him as a Republican.”
Saying that the local Republican Committee “disavows all support” for Crist, “now or in the future”, and charging that Crist “is more concerned about his political career, ambitions and power” than he is about his “principles, his values or the people of the great State of Florida”, the resolution rebuked Crist for “his political change of heart,” and said that Republicans were, “appalled by his political opportunism”.
After those supporting the resolution shared their stories and experiences with former Governor Crist, and condemned him for his methods, party loyalty, and betrayal of many Republican activists, donors, voters and campaign volunteers in St Johns County who supported him in past elections, the resolution was adopted on a hand-count vote.
“When Charlie Crist appears at the Democratic National Convention and offers support for Barack Obama’s election, he no longer speaks for me,” Gary Howell commented.
Crist became disenchanted with the Republican Party while he was still governor, when it became clear that they intended to support Marco Rubio for United States Senator, not him.
Chairman Harlan Mason observed that since leaving office Crist, a Tampa attorney, has joined the personal injury law firm of Morgan and Morgan; based in Orlando. “John Morgan and his wife are politically influential around Florida and would likely back Crist in 2014 when Governor Rick Scott comes up for re-election.”
Gold did not cast a vote, for or against, regarding the resolution.