First of all, congratulations to my dear friend Governor-elect Charlie Crist. His Senate campaign was the first that I ever worked on, so I owe much to the silver-haired, silver-tongued favorite son of St. Petersburg.
I first met Charlie when he came to my high school to discuss the Youth in Government program I was involved in; not soon after he invited me and my friend Estella to be pages in the state Senate. From then after Charlie has been nothing less than a great friend to me and my family.
I went on to be one of only two or three staffers Charlie employed for his courageous, albeit futile, bid for the U.S. Senate. Working up-close with Charlie, I witnessed how good-natured and honest he was as a person. That’s why it’s so satisfying to see him become Florida’s next Governor; because he is a truly good human being and I know he will act with the people’s interests when governing.
I have no advice for Charlie that is any better than the advice he wil be receiving from his closest confidants. But having worked for Governor Askew at the Florida Institute of Government, and from him getting a real sense of how hard it is to govern this unwieldly state, I only suggest that Charlie remain true to his roots, remain the good and honest person he always has been. The rest will take care of itself.