Former Florida governor and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist shook hands, posed for selfies, tossed a USF football and listened to stories and questions from USF students on a campaign stop on campus Thursday afternoon.
But the stop wasn’t to plug his own campaign.
As his wife, Carole, and donor to student body presidential candidate Jean Cocco’s campaign, reminded the former governor on the final day of campaigning for student body elections, “it’s all about Cocco.”
Crist took to the Marshall Student amphitheater stage to plug the campaign of his former aid during his first campaign — simultaneously shaking hands and mingling with the student constituency afterward.
As Cocco took the stage to introduce the governor, who he called like a father-figure to himself, Crist stood up, grabbed his shoulder and asked him to sit down, taking the mic from him.
“You speak last,” Crist said. “Cocco’s the man today.”
Crist spoke about the importance of elections — even at the student body level. He never had the chance to be student body president at his alma mater of FSU, though he said he was student body vice president and Homecoming Chief.
Crist listened to stories from students individually and entertained questions from students ranging from his thoughts on healthcare to why he switched party lines, hugging and whispering as he moved through the crowds.
On the final day of campaigning, the other two candidates also wrapped up their campaign efforts, which were officially called to a close at 8 p.m.
Danish Hasan, a freshman majoring in biomedical science, said most of his campaigns efforts were concentrated near the Juniper Poplar residential areas and in highly populated places.
“Nothing quite as exciting as having a governor come and campaign for you,” he said. “But we’re appreciative of the support we’ve got.”
Brandi Arnold, a junior majoring in business management, could be reached in time for comment because of her campaign schedule, but was spotted at various times through the day campaigning near the Marshall Student Center and Library, handing out fliers and asking people if they’ve voted.
Election results will be announced today at 3 p.m. in the MSC amphitheater.