TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Republican Party leaders have a message for former Gov. Charlie Crist: Bring it on.

The state GOP was holding a quarterly meeting Saturday when news spread about Crist finally becoming a Democrat after more than two years as an independent. Crist left the Republican Party during his 2010 Senate run.

The conversion from Republican to Democrat was widely expected as Crist has become increasingly cozy with Democrats, including appearing with President Barack Obama during his re-election campaign.

Most anticipate Crist will now seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Gov. Rick Scott in 2014. If so, party leaders say there will be that much more motivation to re-elect Scott.

Scott refused to discuss Crist after speaking to party leaders Saturday, saying he's focused on doing his job.