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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist's first inaugural event



Crist_inauguration More than 600 people filled a ballroom at Miami's Parrot Jungle Wednesday morning for a breakfast celebrating Charlie Crist's election as governor. It was a chance for Crist to publicly thank many of the people in South Florida who helped elect him.

"There's so much that we can do, so many people that we can help, and that is our mission," Crist said. "I am humbled by your help."

Some of the loudest applause came when Crist stated the need to pay Florida teachers more money.

Crist was introduced by U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, who called the new governor "a genuine bridge-builder."

The bacon-and-eggs breakfast, which was free and included no VIP tables, kicked off a series of events over the next three weeks, capped by his Jan. 2 swearing-in, parade and an open house at the Governor's Mansion.

A number of Democratic legislators attended Crist's breakfast. They included Sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston; Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami; Rep. Dorothy Bendross-Mindinghall, D-Miami and House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber, D- Miami Beach.

-- Steve Bousquet / Photo AP

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:43am]


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