May 5, 2022 - Politics

Crist, DeSantis show off local investments as they aim to court voters

Crust shakes hands with constituents in front of the electric bus

Rep. Crist shakes hands with Clearwater City Council member Lina Teixeira in front of Pinellas County's Electric Dream Bus. Photo courtesy of Crist's campaign

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist is trying to highlight the impact he's already had on Floridians as he aims for a second stint in the governor's mansion.

Driving the news: Crist, who just marked a year since launching his 2022 gubernatorial campaign, announced $11 million in federal funding for Pinellas County that he helped secure as a member of the U.S. House appropriations committee.

  • Crist was joined Tuesday in Clearwater by Mayor Frank Hibbard, Largo Mayor Woody Brown, Pinellas County commissioners and law enforcement officers to talk about how the money will be used in the coming year.

The breakdown: The money will help fund the Imagine Clearwater revitalization project, which includes a new 4,000-seat covered amphitheater in Coachman Park. It was will also:

  • Fund a $144,000 grant to Clearwater Police for a pilot program that pairs a police officer with a mental health professional to respond to mental health crisis calls and conduct follow-ups to connect people to appropriate mental health services.
  • Buy body cameras for the Largo Police Department.
  • Pay $500,000 to cover mental health services for Pinellas County first responders.

Point of intrigue: Crist's press conference came a day after Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a $20 million Infrastructure Resiliency Fund.

  • Plus: Yesterday, DeSantis visited Frenchy's Rockaway Grill in Clearwater to tout his commitment of an additional $14 million in next year's budget to continue red tide mitigation efforts.

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