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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Campaigning in Keystone



For the briefest of moments Saturday, Florida’s GOP primary centered on a single street corner in Keystone Heights, a small Clay County town named for Pennsylvania. That’s where both Tom Gallagher and Charlie Crist showed up for a Labor Day parade.

But it was clearly Crist with the hometown advantage. The parade organizer was a member of the Police Benevolent Association, Gallagher’s campaign later learned. And eight vehicles, including a Jeep Crist stood in the back of, showed up for the parade, all filled with PBA members wearing PBA t-shirts supporting Crist. There was also PBA complimentary water, passed out along the route, and PBA Frisbees Crist tossed from the jeep.

Gallagher, who walked with wife Laura in front of his own bus wrapped with his message to “Keep Florida in the Right Lane,” criss-crossed the road countlessly to shake hundreds of hands as his band of about a dozen supporters walked with him throwing Jolly Rancher candy. And among the trio of sticker styles up for grab from Gallagher's crowd, "Gators for Gallagher" was by far the most popular.

Even though the two men started from the same corner, they never crossed paths officially.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:42pm]


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