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Politics / Issues

Charlie Crist Campaigns in Tampa Ahead of Primary

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Megan Milanese
/
WUSF Public Media

Former Gov. Charlie Crist was in Tampa today as part of a multi-city tour to drum up voter support before tomorrow's primary election. During the visit to his campaign office, Crist took pictures with supporters and made a few calls to voters in a final push to get people to the polls.

Crist, formerly a Republican, is running against Nan Rich for the Democratic nomination for the governor's race. Rather than discuss his primary opponent, however, Crist focused on current Gov. Rick Scott.

He criticized Scott's new "Let's Keep Florida Learning" plan, which includes $18.9 billion in spending on public schools - the highest in state history. Crist said Scott's track record casts doubt on the new plan.

"What we ought to do is judge him by his deeds and the fact that he cut education by $1.3 billion when he first got in. If Rick Scott were to get re-elected he'd go back to old bad Rick," he said.

Claims have been made by Scott's camp that unless Crist can gain 80% of the primary vote, it's likely he won't stand a chance against the current governor in the upcoming race.  However, Crist said he'll be happy just to secure the nomination.

"I'm just working hard to be the nominee for the Democratic Party of Florida," he said. "I hope it goes well tomorrow. I don't have any expectation of what the numbers should or should not be. I just want to be able to defeat Rick Scott and get Florida back on track again."

According to polls, Crist is expected to win the primary election by a large margin.

On Election Day, Gov. Scott will appear with his wife Ann at field offices in Orlando, Tampa, Naples, and Miami to meet with volunteers and make phone calls. He'll be at the Tampa field office, 3802 Ehrlich Road,  at 10:40 a.m.