For the first time as Florida's governor, Charlie Crist went face to face with the people of Florida, shaking hands, taking pictures and thanking them for their support.
Gov. Crist said, "I feel great. It’s a wonderful day. I'm just so happy for Florida. I'm happy for Tallahassee too. It's great to be here."
Thousands of people gathered near Florida's Governor's Mansion to celebrate with Gov. Crist hours after he took the oath of office. Over and over again they had the same thing to say about Florida's 44th governor.
Julie Shuck said, “He's really nice."
Ten-year-old Jeffrey Clegg shook the governor's hand and said, "He's nice, really nice."
Five-year-old Ashton Smith said the governor knows how to "throw a party," adding, "I like shaking his hand."
The grownups say they think Crist is also pretty "nice."
Mike Birnbaum of Palm Harbor said, "He's very approachable. He shook my hand, said hello. He was very gracious."
George Clark brought his 11-week-old son Malik to meet the new governor.
He said, "He was friendly enough to come up and just say hi to Malik and grab him up and kiss him. It really felt genuine."
So it seems Floridians really like their new governor, now hoping he will make good on his promises.
The former Florida attorney general vowed to put a lid on skyrocketing insurance rates and initiate a constitutional amendment to cut property taxes. He's also promising a more open government, higher pay for teachers, and is striving to attract new business to Florida.
Verdell Robinson of Gainesville, FL said, "I told him I was praying that all his goals would be reached for the state of Florida."
Once they shook the hand of Gov. Crist, thousands lined up outside of the Governor's Mansion for peak inside the place Crist will call home for the next four years. The new governor said he moved in Monday night.
We asked, “What do you think?"
He quickly responded, "It's big, a lot bigger than I'm used to."
The Florida Governor's Mansion is not only celebrating a new tenant, but a 50th anniversary. Crist becomes the 16th governor to call the "People's House" home.
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