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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charlie Crist urges St. Pete congregation to vote early, announces he is voting for Obama today



Former Gov. Charlie Crist and his wife Carole stumped at Bethel Community Baptist Church in St. Petersburg on Sunday morning, urging the congregation to take advantage of early voting. He said he and his wife were headed to the polls later, too, and the ex-Republican made no secret of who he's supporting.

"My former party didn't like it because I dared to be decent to a new president," said Crist, now registered as an independent. "I'm voting for him today. I wish I had last time." He said if Obama wins Florida, he'll win everything "because we're the Checkmate State."

Crist said that because of his previous position, he was well acquainted with both President Barack Obama, a Democrat, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the GOP nominee. "My mother taught me that if you don't have anything nice to say about somebody, you should't say anything at all." He then went on to praise Obama as "decent" and did not mention Romney again.

-- Craig Pittman, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Sunday, October 28, 2012 4:43pm]


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