Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist is donating the remaining cash in his campaign coffers to 20 progressive organizations across the Sunshine State that back causes such as gun reform, reproductive rights and health care access.
Crist’s campaign announced the donations Monday, adding he “was proud to work with them during his campaign and he believes they are on the frontlines of the fight for true freedom and democracy in Florida.”
Each group will receive an equal donation from Crist’s campaign account, which had about $531,000 remaining by Nov. 3. That’s about $26,550 apiece, assuming Crist either spent nothing more or relied on the $97,000 left in the bank for his political committee, Friends of Charlie Crist.
Florida Politics contacted Crist’s campaign to determine the exact donation sum but received no response by press time.
Crist, who served as Florida’s 44th Governor from 2007 to 2011, lost by a landslide to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Nov. 8. DeSantis’ nearly 20-percentage-point lead marked the largest margin of victory ever for a GOP Governor in Florida.
Florida campaign finance law requires candidates to dispose of all leftover campaign funds within 90 days after an election. Candidates may either refund money prorated to contributors, donate the funds to charity or transfer them to an affiliated party committee or political party.
Less than a week after the Midterm Election, Crist has already decided what to do with the money and where it’ll go.
“With women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and the rights of all our fellow Floridians still on the line, I am proud to announce our campaign will redirect our resources towards organizations standing up for freedom and democracy in our state,” he said in a statement. “The fight for a truly free and fair Florida continues.”
Four of the recipient organizations gave to Crist’s campaign this election cycle. Miami-based Ban Assault Weapons Now was the biggest giver, donating $33,671 through Nov. 3. St. Petersburg-based Equality Florida gave $30,197 through its political action committee, Equality Florida Action PAC.
Ruth’s List Florida, a Tampa-based nonprofit dedicated to getting abortion rights candidates elected “at all levels of office,” didn’t give directly. However, the organization’s President, Lucy Sedgwick, donated $2,000.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund Florida also didn’t donate to Crist. But Barbara Zdraveky, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, gave Crist $850.
Other groups set to receive funds from Crist’s campaign include the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Equal Ground Florida, Guatemalan Mayan Center, Florida Black Girls, Floridians for Reproductive Freedom, Florida Freedom to Read Project, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Florida Insulin 4 All, Florida Rising, Florida State Conference NAACP, Mothers Fighting for Justice, People Power for Florida, Women’s March Florida, House Victory Fund, Municipal Victory Fund and Senate Victory Fund.
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