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Politics / Issues

Crist Kicks-Off 'Kitchen Table Tour'

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Credit Ashley Lopez / WGCU

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate CharlieCristkicked-off his ten-day “Kitchen Table Tour” Monday.Cristis traveling the state talking to middle-class Floridians and one of the first stops on his tour was in Sarasota.

This year’s hotly contested election is about a month away and Crist is making the rounds.

For his latest campaign tour, he’s pulling up a chair at kitchen tables. In Sarasota, Crist talked to Emily Chalker Lane. She’s involved in local politics and works raising money for Selby Gardens. She said she’s been having a hard time with her own finances.

“I had to realize that I don’t have the money I used to have,” Lane told Crist. “I mean, I make more money, but… I am having to pay more. Safety nets went away, savings went away, no college savings at all.”

And Lane said this is a big problem. Her 14-year-old daughter Michelle, who sat with them, just started high school and isn’t far from planning for college.

Lane also said health care costs and rising rent prices are a huge burden right now. As Lane laid out her concerns to Crist, he scribbled down notes on a legal pad.

Crist told reporters he plans on doing this all over the state the next several days. He said he expects similar concerns wherever he goes .

“I mean most people are having a hard time making ends meet and paying for college and getting ahead and I think listening is the most important thing you can do if you really want to help people is listen to people in a tough situation and I am trying to be a good listener,” he said.

The governor’s race is still largely tied, according to most polls-- and Election Day is less than 40 days away.Cristsaid he hopes this “Kitchen Table Tour” will show voters he is more in touch with the needs of struggling Floridians than RepublicanGov. Rick Scott.

Scott was in town this past weekend. He knocked on doors with campaign volunteers. Scott maintains that Crist is not up to the task considering he left his post as governor to vie for a Senate seat four years ago. 

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