Rep. Charlie Crist Slammed for Relying On Proxy Voting Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), candidate for Governor of Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty)
By Charlie McCarthy | Wednesday, 27 April 2022 01:02 PM
Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., who is running for governor in his home state, has been attacked for being absent from the House – something he accused an opponent of during his previous run for Florida's highest office, Politico reported.
Crist, then a Republican, was elected governor in 2006, when he said then-Rep. Jim Davis, D-Fla., missed too many votes in Congress.
Now, Crist is being slammed for relying on proxy votes this year instead of voting in person.
"Charlie Crist has shamelessly abandoned his responsibility to the Floridians he represents in Congress as he desperately chases a promotion that will once again remain out of his reach," Joanna Rodriguez, a spokesperson for the Republican Governors Association, told Politico.
"A real team player knows when it's time to bow out and let others lead. But as reports today have shown, Charlie is more interested in seeking office and losing than doing the work he was hired to do," Keith Edwards, the communications director for Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, tweeted.
Fried and state Sen. Annette Taddeo, D, are opposing Crist for the Democratic nomination to run against Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla.
Honolulu Civil Beat earlier this month published a story that examined the voting record of Rep. Kai Kahele, D-Hawaii. In the story, Crist appeared on a list that showed he voted by proxy more often than all House members except for five other Democrats.
The Dispatch reported that the 18 times Crist had voted in person this year — out of 125 total votes — took place during four days in March.
In 2006, Crist's gubernatorial campaign exploited Davis' House attendance by repeatedly running ads featuring an empty chair rolling around the streets of Washington, D.C.
A Crist spokeman told Politico the congressman has his priorities straight.
"The Congressman has two important missions: representing Florida's 13th District in Congress and giving Floridians, exhausted by Ron DeSantis' never ending culture wars, a clear choice in November," spokesperson Chloe Kessock told Politico. "The proxy offers a great way to ensure his constituents' voices continue to be heard on legislation under consideration in Congress."
The Washington Examiner reported last week that House Democrats and Republicans were headed for a potential showdown over proxy voting as members weigh whether the practice should continue.
In March, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced that the House would be extending its proxy voting until May 14.
Proxy voting, implemented as a safety precaution during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been extended by Pelosi several times.