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U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) announces that he will run for governor as a Democrat on Nov. 4, 2013 at Albert Whitted Park. Photo: Edward Linsmier/Getty Images

Charlie Crist is making a "major announcement" Tuesday morning in St. Pete, and odds are strong that he'll tell us he plans to be the first Democrat to officially step up to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2022.

Driving the news: Crist formed a political committee named "Friends of Charlie Crist," which would allow him to start raising money for a 2022 state-level election, Florida Politics reports.

  • And sources told publisher Peter Schorsch the Republican governor-turned-Democratic congressman has been making phone calls to local elected officials, donors, and activists to see how they felt about it. The response was "overwhelmingly positive."

Why it matters: Crist, 64, would be the first Democrat to announce a run, but the field could get crowded.

  • Insiders suspect popular U.S. Rep. Val Demings, a former Orlando police chief, will also run, and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Florida's only statewide-elected Democrat, is considering it, too, among others.
  • Don't forget former U.S. Rep. David Jolly, whom Crist unseated in 2016. Jolly defected from the GOP and has been mulling a run for governor as an independent.

What they're saying: Crist's strengths at this stage are his fundraising skills, his appeal to moderates and the name recognition that comes from serving as education commissioner, attorney general and governor of the Sunshine State.

Yes, but: Crist hasn't won a statewide election in 15 years, and last time he did it was as a Republican, the Tampa Bay Times points out.

  • He lost a three-way race for U.S. Senate as an independent in 2010. Four years later, he was the Democratic Party's nominee for governor but lost to then-Gov. Rick Scott.

The big picture: The move could put his congressional seat at risk for Democrats, who are fighting historical head winds that tend to punish the president's party in midterm elections, per the Washington Post.

  • And the Republican state legislature will draw new district maps next year that could make his Pinellas County district more Republican.
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Go deeper

Texas special House election heads to a runoff

Ron Wright. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Susan Wright (R), the widow of Rep. Ron Wright (R-Texas), will advance to a runoff contest in the special House election for Texas' 6th congressional district, AP reports.

Why it matters: Ron Wright became the first sitting member of Congress to die of the coronavirus, two weeks into his second term and the seat has been empty since.

14 mins ago - World

Tokyo Olympics to allow up to 10,000 fans at each event

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto (L) and IOC President Thomas Bach on Monday. Photo: Rodrigo Reyes Marin/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics said Monday that venues can be filled up to 50% capacity when the Games kick off on July 23, with a maximum of 10,000 Japanese spectators at each event, AP reports.

Why it matters: Medical experts advising the Japanese government had recommended against allowing fans, citing the low vaccination rates in Japan and the potential for new variants to drive up infections.

35 mins ago - Health

The psychology behind COVID-19 lotteries

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NBA season tickets. Scholarships. A chance at $5 million. The list of lotteries and raffles states are launching to drive up COVID-19 vaccination rates is growing, and some local officials are already reporting "encouraging" results.

Driving the news: The reason why, some psychologists and public health experts say, is that the allure of lotteries for many people is simply that the prospect of winning a great prize seems better than passing up the chance, regardless of the odds.