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Crist lands campaign manager with I-4 roots

by John Kennedy | January 31st, 2014

Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist has landed a campaign manager — Omar Khan, lately an environmental trouble-shooter for President Obama.

Khan, who has Florida roots, is expected to join the Crist team next month.

“I love him. He loves Florida,” Crist said Friday. “He’s coming home to help us put the people back in charge.”

Khan has worked for Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Task Force, an outgrowth of his recent role leading public engagement efforts at the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Kahn is a former University of South Florida student body president and member of the school’s Board of Trustees.

In the Tampa Bay area, always a key toss-up region of the state, Khan elped former state Sen. Charlie Justice, D-St. Petersburg, win an upset victory in 2006. Khan also worked nationally on the Obama campaign in 2012 after serving as deputy Florida director four years earlier, where he clearly built a bond with Obama Florida director Steve Schale, now a top Crist strategist.

Kahn comes on board after a stumbling Crist first effort at landing a campaign manager. Crist had Democratic operative Bill Hyers lined up in November – ready to capitalize on a hot political property who had just helped Bill de Blasio win the New York mayor’s race.

But something went haywire. The partnership fizzled and Hyers is staying in the Northeast, where he recently joined Hilltop Public Solutions, a Democratic campaign shop.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, now serving as a consultant to the Crist campaign, was among those praising Khan’s selection.

“He’s smart, savvy, and as a Floridian, understands how important electing Charlie Crist is to the middle class,” Messina said.

Crist’s rival, Republican Gov. Rick Scott, recently unveiled a host of additions to his campaign team. Among them was Melissa Sellers, who moves from the executive office where she was communications director to the campaign manager’s role.

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4 Responses to “Crist lands campaign manager with I-4 roots”

  1. Same ole same ole Says:

    Absolutely amazing!

    While the parade gets larger and larger — of DemocRATS who are retiring or fleeing the ship Obama, old chameleon Charlie is in there smiling and sucking up.

    Even the yellow dog democrats who frequently post here must be panicky scrambling to concoct and put some sort of delusional positive spins on this one.

  2. timtopper Says:

    When Rick Scott ran for governor, he was a multimillionaire former CEO of the largest Medicare fraud in history who moved here in 1997. His company was fined $1.7 bilion for the crimes. When he decided to run for governor and could spend $70 million to buy the election with advertising, a popular comedian said it was an IQ test for Florida. We failed.

    Now, he claims that Charlie Crist was responsible for the economic calamity of the great recession and that he is responsible for the recovery. He could also say that we have been hurricane-free because of him. Scott is not responsible for our country’s improved economy or the weather. Crist did not cause the recession and Scott did not fix it.

    Scott has been on a crusade to turn our hospitals and prison system into gold mines for the kinds of businesses he operates. He has turned his back on us, giving our $51 billion in Medicaid funds to other states and withholding needed healthcare from our people out of work. He wrecked the rail jobs opportunity, wrecked education with firings and program cuts that will take generations to recover from. He continues to try to “purge” people who have the perfect right to vote.

    This will be another IQ test for Florida. I hope we can say “Fool us once, shame on you, but you can’t fool us twice.”

  3. Hmmmmm Says:

    Hey, but he ha I-4 corridore roots!

  4. Oi Says:

    When Barack Obama ran for President, he wasn’t a millionaire. Now, he’s a multi-millionaire! The rest of us LOST money during the recession, he made money.

    And Obama admitted he was a bonehead to accept the ‘deal’ convicted felon Tony Rezzo offfered.

    How much money has Debbie Wasserman Schultz made since she’s been in office.

    Either one makes their money before entering politics or during their years in office.

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