When Charlie Crist stopped at a converted warehouse for Miami entrepreneurs, 12-year-old Andrew Castro handed him a miniature state of Florida produced by a 3-D printer.
“A little Florida! Thank you," Crist said.
Crist was at LAB Miami Thursday morning because he thinks another South Floridian can help hand him the whole state this fall -- Annette Taddeo-Goldstein.
Taddeo-Goldstein was born in Colombia, is chairman of the Miami-Dade County Democratic Party and owns a translation business. She unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2008.
She's experienced in raising money and turning out Democrats on Election Day.
Crist said he’s proud of his running mate.
“She’s just a role model, I think, for so many Floridians and truly has lived the American dream," he said.
Taddeo-Goldstein said she understands Florida families.
“I bring, also, that different perspective as a working mom and as a small business owner," she said. "Which is really nice and I’m really proud of him that he sees the need for us to have a voice.”
Taddeo-Goldstein’s selection means both Crist and Republican Gov. Rick Scott chose Lieutenant Governors from South Florida. Scott chose former state Representative Carlos Lopez-Cantera to replace Jennifer Carroll in January.
Crist admitted Miami-Dade County will be a key battleground in November.
“Well, the geography is a benefit, there’s no question about it," he said. "But the main thing that I thought about when I thought about picking Annette was her readiness to serve, her willingness to serve.”
Democrats need big wins in South Florida counties to win statewide because so much of the state is solidly Republican.
Crist faces former state Sen. Nan Rich in the August 26 Democratic primary. The winner will challenge Scott in November.