Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist on Sunday endorsed President Barack Obama over presumed Republican rival Mitt Romney for a second term as president.

“As America prepares to pick our president for the next four years – and as Florida prepares once again to play a decisive role – I'm confident that President Barack Obama is the right leader for our state and the nation,” Crist wrote in an editorial published by the Tampa Bay Times.

Republicans have moved “so far to the extreme right on issues important to women, immigrants, seniors and students that they've proven incapable of governing for the people.”

Crist governed Florida as a Republican. He renounced his party affiliation while campaigning in 2010 for the United States Senate. He now considers himself an independent.

While Crist did not specifically mention gay rights in his op-ed, his support on some issues important to the gay community increased after he left the GOP.

He also praised Obama for his handling of the economic crisis.

“The president's response was swift, smart and farsighted. He kept his compass pointed due north and relentlessly focused on saving jobs, creating more and helping the many who felt trapped beneath the house of cards that had collapsed upon them,” he wrote.

The chairman of the Florida Republican Party blasted Crist's editorial as “political opportunism.”

“Make no mistake about it: This is Charlie Crist trying to shed his skin for a political comeback,” Lenny Curry said in a statement.

Crist, who is 56 and currently married to Carole Rome, has previously denied rumors that he is gay or bisexual.

(Related: Charlie Crist gay affair claims resurface.)