January 2, 2007 to January 4, 2011
Oil on canvas, Jeff Bass, 2010
Charlie Crist was born in 1956 in Altoona, Pennsylvania; however, his family soon settled in St. Petersburg. As a public school student, he served as class president at St. Petersburg High School and, later, as student body vice president at Florida State University. Crist then earned his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama.
In 1992, Crist won a seat in the Florida Senate, where he served for six years. Eight years later, he won a special election and became Florida's last elected commissioner of education. Crist's path of public service next led him to seek election as attorney general in 2002, becoming Florida's first elected Republican attorney general.
On November 7, 2006, Charlie Crist was elected to serve as Florida's forty-fourth governor. During his term he directed federal stimulus money to help pay Florida public school teachers. In 2010, Governor Crist was actively engaged in Florida’s response to mitigate the environmental damage to the state’s northwest Gulf coast caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Following one term as governor, Crist ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate as an Independent, and in 2014 he ran unsuccessfully for governor as a Democrat. In 2016, Crist won election to the US House of Representatives, representing Florida’s 13th Congressional District covering the St. Petersburg–Clearwater area.