Crist wages populist campaign for Fla. governor

By By MICHAEL J. MISHAK

MIAMI (AP) — Charlie Crist was a Republican when he was elected Florida's governor in 2006.

But he declared himself a Democrat in 2012 and now is trying to get the job back.

When he made the switch, Democratic leaders saw a moderate politician able to win back centrist Republican and independent voters who had soured on GOP Gov. Rick Scott.

But as his campaign begins to take shape, Crist is taking a left turn.

He's embraced President Barack Obama's health care law. He supports efforts to legalize medical marijuana and to overturn the gay marriage ban he initially backed.

He's also called for an increase in the minimum wage.

Crist's campaign of economic populism in the nation's largest swing state is a test case of the power of the party's liberal wing.

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