Crist, Rich in final push for Florida primary votes

By Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A final push for votes is underway in Democrats' race to reclaim the governor's mansion.

Former Gov. Charlie Crist, the longtime Republican who is seeking to reclaim his old job as a Democrat, attended a planned event in Jacksonville Monday morning before heading to Tampa, Orlando, Wellington and Fort Lauderdale.

Crist was greeted by Rep. Corrine Brown and welcomed at a senior living center on Edgewood Avenue in Northwest Jacksonville.

Crist spoke to voters and encouraged supporters working a phone bank, reminding people to vote in Tuesday's primary. He also worked the phones himself.

Crist's underdog opponent, former Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich, spent time at a phone bank at her Weston campaign headquarters making last-minute get-out-the-vote calls.

Both candidates are vying for a shot to unseat Gov. Rick Scott, who has two primary challengers of his own.

WHO/WHAT'S ON THE BALLOT?  Florida Voter's Guide

Scott's campaign did not make a stop in northeast Florida Monday but is frequently in the area. Crist said Jacksonville is just as important to him.

"North Florida is important. I'm here first," Crist said. "They call it the First Coast, I think, you know? I know Florida, and I know what she needs."

Scott didn't comment Monday, but his campaign chairman, Sen. John Thrasher, sent this statement:

"While Charlie Crist was governor, Florida lost over 800,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate in Jacksonville skyrocketed from 3.1% to 10.4%. A second Charlie Crist term would be a disaster for Florida, only made worse by his full-throated endorsement of President Obama and his failed policies."

There are also races on many ballots U.S. House and state Legislature seats, judicial races, and in most counties there are local commission and school board races.

Early voting ended over the weekend as elections officials prepare to open the polls at all precincts at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

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