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Charlie Crist Coming to Manatee County for DEC Awards


BRADENTON – In a move that seems to further signal he is gearing up for a 2014 run, former Florida Governor Charlie Crist has been announced as the featured speaker for the Manatee County Democratic Executive Committee's upcoming awards dinner, March 15 at the Fete Ballroom of Lakewood Ranch's Polo Grill.

Charlie Crist
Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist

Crist, who served as Republican governor of Florida from 2007-2011, ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010. After falling behind Marco Rubio in the Republican primary, he dropped out and ran as an independent, losing to Rubio in a three-way race that included Democratic Congressman Kendrick Meek.

The former governor recently changed his registration to Democrat and campaigned for President Barrack Obama's reelection, fueling speculation that he will run against incumbent Governor Rick Scott in 2014. While some Democrats were apprehensive in accepting his transition, many were excited to gain a high-profile moderate with enough statewide name recognition to instantly give the party a shot at the governor's mansion in 2014.

“Charlie was a Republican, an independent and now a Democrat,” said Patty Benson, chair of the Manatee Democratic Executive Committee. “He's worn all three hats and he's a moderate, so maybe he can bring Republicans and Democrats together to get things done.”

Benson said that Manatee Democrats were excited to hear the message of someone who not only brings across-the-aisle appeal, but has a record of supporting issues which are important to members of the party.

“Charlie cares about kids, he cares about education and about less fortunate Floridians,” said Benson. “His mother was an educator and his father was a doctor, so he comes from the sort of roots that are inherent to the experiences of middle class families, and it shows.”

Visit the Manatee Democratic Party's website for more information, or to order tickets for this event.


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