Eric Lynn first Florida Democrat to jump into race to replace Charlie Crist

A day after U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist announced he’s running for governor, there’s already a Democrat vying to replace him in Congress.

Eric Lynn, a national security adviser from St. Petersburg, made official on Wednesday his long-rumored plans to run for the District 13 seat.

“My view is the people of Pinellas deserve someone who understands the challenges we face in our communities and the complexities of working in congress,” Lynn told the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday.

Lynn previously worked as a congressional aide and served as national security adviser to President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. He then joined the administration as an adviser to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

During his past run for Congress, Lynn supported a $15 minimum wage, which now enjoys widespread Democratic support but divided many candidates at the time.

On the Republican side, the party’s 2020 nominee Anna Paulina Luna has already said she intends to run for the job again. Another GOP contender in the last cycle, Amanda Makki, is weighing another campaign as well.

The wildcard is former U.S. Rep. David Jolly, who lost the seat to Crist in 2016. Jolly is looking to get back into politics as an Independent after leaving the GOP over President Donald Trump. He, too, may run for his old congressional seat, potentially setting up a three-way contest in 2022 for one of the state’s most competitive districts.

Lynn lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and three kids.

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