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First lady stumps for Crist as gubernatorial race intensifies

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Florida's deadlocked gubernatorial race is intensifying as early voting begins Monday.

First Lady Michelle Obama campaigned for Charlie Crist on Friday in Orlando.

The first lady embraced Crist as she took the stage.

She appealed to minority and middle class voters. She said her husband could not have been elected as the United States' first black president without them.

"If you want a leader who shares your values and priorities, who will help the middle class get ahead in Florida, then you've got to vote for Charlie Crist for governor."

Congresswoman Corrine Brown and state Sen. Geraldine Thompson also addressed a small crowd in Orlando's predominately African-American neighborhood of Pine Hills.

The first lady is the latest national political figure to get involved in the gubernatorial race. Vice President Joe Biden also has campaigned for Crist. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a possible presidential contender, has campaigned for Gov. Rick Scott.

The next gubernatorial debate is scheduled for Tuesday.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.