JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Republican Party of Florida is wasting no time in firing back Charlie Crist after his official announcement to run for governor.
The state GOP has already launched a website
featuring an ad where prominent Democrats criticize the former Republican, turned independent, and now Democrat.
Chairman Lenny Curry of the Republican Party of Florida said their job is to help Floridians understand Crist is not right for Florida.
"Charlie Crist is a political opportunist, he's not fit to govern, he's not trustworthy to lead the state of Florida forward," said Curry.
According to Curry, under Gov. Rick Scott's watch the state created 365,000 private sector jobs. He said it's Scott's job creation record that will stand out against Crist, who left his job as governor to run for a Senate seat. But the state GOP is still taking his bid for office seriously.
"We know that he's going to campaign hard, that he's going to do everything that he can get elected," said Curry.
University of North Florida Assistant Political Science Professor Michael Binder said, if Scott wants to keep his job he needs to stick to the message he was elected on.
"He ran on three things, jobs, jobs, and more jobs and he's been very successful in doing that. The economy has turned around, I don't know that I’d credit him entirely with that but he's been in place for that," said Binder.
Either way, Binder predicts a neck-and-neck race that will come down to the wire.
Crist was one of President Barack Obama's most vocal supporters in Florida during his re-election campaign of 2012. According to Binder, depending on the Obama's approval ratings, he wouldn't be surprised to see the president himself campaigning for Crist in Florida.