Gloves come off as candidates fight to win your vote for governor

Democrat Charlie Crist and Republican Rick Scott go at each other in Tallahassee

CREATED Jan. 30, 2014

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 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The gloves are off in the race to be your next governor.

Former Republican governor Charlie Crist is now running as a Democrat and he's wasting no time going after incumbent Republican governor Rick Scott.

Each man spoke at an Associated Press event in the state capitol of Tallahassee. 

Crist ripped into Scott's record and mentioned the governor by name more than once as he spoke for about 40 minutes.

Scott spoke for about 15 minutes and never mentioned Crist by name.

But he did take several shots at what happened during Crist's administration - trying to peg the recession that began during that time on Crist.

Meanwhile, a new poll shows Crist leading Scott by 8 points in a new poll.

The poll released by Quinnipiac University finds that 54 percent don't think that Scott deserves a second term as governor.

Only 41 percent approve of the job Scott is doing.

The margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 percent.

The gap between Scott and Crist is closer than it was in a poll taken last March.

But Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, says Scott's momentum has stalled. Scott was trailing Crist by 7 points in a November poll.

But Crist isn't the only Democrat who wants the job.

Former state senator Nan Rich is also in the hunt for the job.

Yesterday, Rich told journalists at the 20th annual legislative editors meeting hosted by The Associated Press that she was the only true Democrat seeking to oust Scott.

She took several shots at Crist, who switched parties to enter the race just four years after giving up the governor's seat in an ill-fated bid for the U.S. Senate.

Both Democratic hopefuls have blasted Scott for refusing to accept billions of dollars from the federal government that could have led to tens of thousands of new jobs in Florida.
Crist said he was much more comfortable politically as a Democrat and had effusive praise for President Obama during his appearance.