By Julie Montanaro
January 2, 6:40pm
Charlie Crist has been sworn in as Florida's 44th governor, touting a new era of bipartisanship and relief from skyrocketing insurance rates. Crist is promising to make government more responsive, more transparent and less partisan.
Charlie Crist, a St. Petersburg Republican and FSU graduate with a lengthy resume of service in elected office, has become Florida's 44th governor, promising a new era of bipartisanship at the Capitol.
"We will work together to do what is right and reject labels, red, blue, liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican. There is only one label that really matters, Floridian. We are all Floridians."
Crist tried to set the tone and task for his administration, promising an office of open government, higher pay for teachers, relief from skyrocketing insurance rates and a constitutional amendment to cut property taxes.
"Some of our families are no longer able to afford their homes, spending down their retirement to keep a roof over their head, leveraging their children's future to keep food on the table. This cannot stand," Crist said.
The inaugural had a distinct Tallahassee flavor with Pam Laws singing the national anthem and the Tallahassee Boys Choir singing the Florida song.
After the speech, Democratic leader Dan Gelber says Crist clearly tried to paint himself as governing from the center. Gelber says he's optimistic, but he chuckled and said he'll have to verify that.