Charlie Crist ended his campaign trail for the 2014 governor’s race Monday night at UCF with the help of former President Bill Clinton.
Hundreds of UCF students and members of the community helped pack the UCF Venue, which sits right behind the CFE Arena, to support former Gov. Charlie Crist in hopes of helping him get his old job back taking the governor’s mansion in Tallahassee.
State Democratic Rep. Joe Saunders helped start off the rally calling this election a crossroads for voters wanting to see change for equality among all Floridians.
“Vote like your tuition depends on it—or—if you’re gay, lesbian or transgender, vote like your marriage depends on it, because it does,” Saunders told the crowd of about 400.
Crist took the stage with Clinton but only made a quick remark opening the stage for the former President. Crist thanked the supporters and encouraged everyone in the audience to vote and take five friends with them.
“Listen, I’m not going to give a large speech because I know who you’ve come to hear—so did I,” Crist said. “I’m telling you what, there’s a lot on the line in this race, but the most important single thing I can say to you tonight, and to Florida, is I’m on your side. You deserve a governor who is on your side. That’s what it takes and that is the difference.”
Clinton stole the show telling the audience that he is UCF’s No. 1 and discussing the differences between Crist and his opponent, current Governor Rick Scott, even calling Scott an “amazing money machine.”
Clinton discussed Crist’s plans to expand the Bright Futures Scholarship, which he said had been cut during Scott’s term. Clinton also spoke about women’s rights, climate changes and jobs, encouraging students to think ahead to the future for their children.
“We are going to work together, and we are going to grow together. That’s what Charlie Crist means to you.” Clinton said.
UCF student Megan McCarthy said she enjoyed the rally saying that it’s silly for students not to vote when their education and money is on the line.
“Democratic ideals are more effective for students especially,” McCarthy said. “I mean all my money is in my education, so I want to know that someone who cares about that is in office.”
College Democrats President, Chelsea Daley, agreed and said this event was the best night of her life.
“When I was little I used to watch Bill Clinton,” Daley, who is a political science major at UCF, said. “He made me want to pursue a future in politics.”
Daley said they’ve held two rallies on UCF campus urging students to head to the polls. She said Crist’s choice to end this campaign at UCF was a great and could help inspire some undecided voters.
“We aren’t only a university with the most students,” Daley said. “We also have the most energy.
Crist agreed, telling KnightNews he made the right choice ending his campaign at Florida’s highest populated university.
“To be here with the Knights…what’s better than that? It was fantastic. It was great.” Crist said.