By launching a Democratic campaign for governor, former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist is attempting a feat that’s unprecedented in Florida and extremely rare elsewhere — winning governorships as a candidate from two different parties.
It’s been tried before in the Sunshine State.
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Party switching governors: some winners and losers
- Mills Godwin: Elected Virginia governor as Democrat in 1965 and as Republican in 1973.
- Fob James: Elected Alabama governor as Democrat in 1978 and as Republican in 1994.
- Walter Hickel: Elected Alaska governor as Republican in 1966 and with Alaskan Independence Party in 1990.
- Philip LaFollette: Elected Wisconsin governor as Republican in 1930; lost 1932 GOP primary; elected governor as Progressive in 1934 and 1936.
- Hiram Johnson: Elected California governor as Republican in 1910 and as Progressive in 1914.
- Lincoln Chafee: Former GOP Senator elected Rhode Island governor as independent in 2010; switched to Democrat this year but announced in September that he won’t run in 2014.
- Buddy Roemer: Elected Louisiana governor as Democrat in 1987; became Republican in 1991 and lost re-election bid.
- Claude Kirk: Elected Florida’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction in 1966; lost 1970 re-election bid; switched to Democrat and lost primaries for governor in 1978 and U.S. Senate in 1988; became Republican again and lost 1990 race for education commissioner.
What: Charlie Crist, elected governor as a Republican in 2006, expected to announce his candidacy for governor as a Democrat in 2014.
When: 10 a.m. Monday.
Where: Albert Whitted Park, St. Petersburg.