Florida Democrat gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist was already facing a monumental task in his bid to topple enormously popular Republican incumbent Ron DeSantis and now he will be without the services of his longtime campaign chief who was arrested for domestic violence earlier this week.
Austin Durrer, who has worked for the former Republican-turned whatever you want me to be since 2016 stepped down this week to attend to a “family matter” which was later revealed to be a domestic dispute at his Cambridge, Maryland home where he was taken into custody on second-degree assault charges in a case classified as “domestic violence,” according to court records procured by Fox News Digital.
“Durrer was released on $10,000 bond after his arrest, and the court ordered him to surrender firearms and vacate his home,” the outlet reported, a major black eye to Crist’s flailing campaign that couldn’t have come at a worse possible time.
Team Charlie is taking heavy criticism for not initially announcing the circumstances behind Durrer’s departure, especially since Crist has criticized DeSantis for not respecting women and has repeatedly positioned himself as a champion of women’s rights, emphasizing that he was raised with three sisters as one of his top talking points.
Charlie Crist talks a lot about how much he "respects women." But after his campaign manager was arrested for domestic violence assault 3 days ago, the @CharlieCrist campaign dismissed it as a "family matter."
No, it's a criminal matter, not something to brush under the rug. pic.twitter.com/SLE9n8FpUC
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 #FloridaStrong (@DeSantisWarRoom) October 21, 2022
“Very sadly, an incident took place this week at our home that we both regret. We are both working to drop legal charges and move forward,” Durrer and victim Jackie Whisman said in a joint statement to NBC News. “Our primary focus at this time is our daughter, our greatest joy, and we appreciate privacy and respect as we navigate this as a family.”
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) December 1, 2016
Amanda Leonard, the interim state’s attorney for Dorchester County, read a probable cause affidavit to an NBC News reporter during a telephone call saying that “the woman had marks on her face from the dispute.”
“She [the alleged victim] indicated that there had been an argument that had turned physical with the father of her child who is identified as Austin Durrer. There were signs of physical injury to her face, consistent with what she reported,” Leonard said, according to the outlet.
Crist, who was the Sunshine State’s governor from 2007 to 2011 back when he was still a Republican and before he slithered into bed with the Democratic Party during the Obama years, now not only has to shake up his campaign in less than three weeks before the election but the handling of the Durrer matter makes him look dishonest, further reinforcing the perception that he is little more than a cynical political opportunist.
Given his already daunting task of making up ground against DeSantis, it isn’t looking good for Crist and Twitter users weighed in on the crushing development.
Contrary to what @CharlieCrist's campaign spokesperson @Sam_RamirezQ claims, domestic violence isn't just a "family matter" … it is a criminal court matter. In this case, the charge is 2nd Degree Assault. https://t.co/HsicFA4l9V
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) October 21, 2022
Make no mistake, @CharlieCrist lied about the reason for his campaign manager’s departure.
Charlie covered up physical violence against a woman. https://t.co/e69zDZhr83
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) October 21, 2022
When the campaign manager for Charlie Crist “resigned” this week, the Crist campaign said it was so he could focus on personal family matters, yet Charlie Crist knew the reason was domestic violence and did not disclose the arrest.
— Travis Akers (@travisakers) October 21, 2022
@CharlieCrist said her left to "focus on a family matter" he neglected to mention he (Austin Durrer) was arrested for domestic violence#SorryCharlie Your October surprise was not DeSantis handling the hurricane like a pro, it was your campaign implodinghttps://t.co/utIFOAJhUl https://t.co/8xO9WhmlaB pic.twitter.com/pJJSmWyRuc
— Are all Democrats Groomers? (@Trump__Train__) October 21, 2022
Prior to the scandalous decision to portray Durrer’s departure as merely a “family matter” instead of his beating up on a woman, Crist was already dealing with the cruel trick played on him by Mother Nature when the monster storm Hurricane Ian slammed into the South Florida Gulf Coast packing 155-mph winds, rendering his attacks against DeSantis who has been busy with managing the response irrelevant and knocking him completely out of the headlines – until now.
As if it’s not bad enough, President Joe Biden will be hitting the campaign trail with Crist in the days before the election in what may be the kiss of death for Charlie’s political career.
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