Fort Lauderdale, Florida -- Charlie Crist soundly beat Nan Rich by more than 75 percent of the vote on Tuesday for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Crist spoke to hundreds of supporters and thanked his opponent Rich, his campaign team and the voters.
"If we do our job when the sun rises on November 5, it will rise on a Florida full of renewed opportunity for all – for our children for our homegrown small businesses and for our families," he said. "So for the next 70 days we have to tell Floridians what the future looks like."
Charlie Crist wins the support of Democrats and looks toward a campaign against Rick Scott.
Crist says this campaign isn't about a right or left, but about what's right or wrong. He added that it's important to invest in the middle class, in children's education, small business and ensure everyone has a fair shot.
Many polls thought Crist would take this race by 80 percent. Even though he didn't quite get there, he says he looks forward to working with Rich and working tirelessly to convince -- not just Democrats -- but everyone for his vote.
He now faces Scott and Libertarian Adrian Wyllie in a race that's already been highly negative. Scott anticipated a Crist victory and has already spent millions of dollars in ads attacking him for political flip-flops and for supporting President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
Crist was also focused on Scott leading up to the primary, refusing to debate Rich while reminding voters that Scott is a former hospital chain CEO who ran a company that paid a $1.7 billion settlement for Medicaid fraud.
Former Hillsborough Commissioner Rose Ferlita looks ahead to the governor and attorney general races in Florida.
Crist, 58, was once considered a potential running mate for 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain. He also had the backing of GOP leaders in a 2010 bid for the U.S. Senate — until Marco Rubio used an image of Crist hugging President Barack Obama to chase Crist from the primary. Crist lost an independent bid for the seat Rubio now holds.
After campaigning for Obama in 2012, Crist completed his political transition later that year by posting a photo of his voter registration card on Twitter during an event at the White House.
Gov. Rick Scott made the following statement regarding tonight's primary election results:
"The next few months are about talk versus action. That means Florida will have a choice between a governor who sent our state into a tailspin and a governor who gets results. Charlie Crist failed as governor, lost 830,000 jobs, and tried to run off to Washington – and now he wants his job back. We've come a long way in the last few years, but there's plenty of work left to do. Let's keep working."
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