Now a Democrat, Crist kicks off run for governor - FOX 13 News

Now a Democrat, Crist kicks off run for governor

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

Former Republican governor now turned Democrat Charlie Crist kicked off his campaign against Gov. Rick Scott on Monday morning in St. Petersburg, telling a small crowd he's looking to take Tallahassee in a different direction and pursue high-speed rail.

Crist held the rally at Albert Whitted Park near his St. Pete home. He filed paperwork to get in the race Friday. At the event, Crist said "Tallahassee is out of control." He also criticized Scott for catering to "big business."

"Government for the people has been replaced by cronyism and government on the fringes," said Crist, who pledged a reinvigorated push for high-speed rail in Florida.

Crist said this time around his priority is putting the people first, despite widespread criticism that he's merely playing his own political games. Crist has gone from Republican to Independent to now Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, opened the event by endorsing Crist.

Crist, who lost out to Marco Rubio in a race for the Senate in 2010, will be challenged by former state Sen. Nan Rich, who is also seeking the Democratic nomination for governor.

VIDEO: Political Editor Craig Patrick says Florida governor's race to be "most talked about race" in America

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