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Charlie Crist is leaving his U.S. House seat to focus on the Florida governor's race

Charlie Crist speaking at the podium
Daylina Miller
WUSF Public Media
Charlie Crist addresses the crowd in St. Petersburg after winning the Democratic nomination for governor in the primary election on Aug. 23, 2022.

Crist stepped down from his 13th District seat effective the end of the day Wednesday. He is looking to unseat Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist is stepping down early from Congress.

In a statement Wednesday, Crist announced he is resigning his seat in Congress effective at the end of the day to focus on his campaign against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“Serving as the Representative of Florida’s 13th Congressional District has been an honor and a privilege,” Crist said in the statement.

"From the bottom of my heart, thank you for trusting me as your Representative in Washington."

Crist has held the 13th District seat — which covers Clearwater to southern Pinellas County — since 2016, winning three elections during that time.

He secured the Democratic nomination for governor last week and has named United Teachers of Dade President Karla Hernandez-Mats as his pick for lieutenant governor.

Republican Anna Paulina Luna will face Democrat Eric Lynn for the seat in November. Lynn worked in President Barack Obama's administration.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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