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Crist welcomed in Democratic stronghold

More than 800 people packed the clubhouse at the Kings Point retirement community in Tamarac -- a  bastion of Democratic party politics  -- to see Republican Gov. Charlie Crist this afternoon.

"It was unbelievable,'' Tamarac Vice Mayor Marc Sultanoff said of the standing-room only crowd. "There were standing ovations three or four times. He knew he was in the middle of a strong Democratic place, and he still felt at home."

Sultanoff, who leads the King Point Democratic Club, said Crist talked about his trip to Israel with U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, oil drilling off Florida's coast, hurricane insurance and property taxes. Many of Broward's elected Democrats, including Clerk of Courts Howard Forman, Sheriff Ken Jenne, State Attorney Mike Satz, and state Sen. Jeremy Ring, came to bask in the glow of Crist's 70-plus approval rating.

By adopting part of the Democratic agenda and reaching out to party leaders, Crist is making it tough for Democrats to run a challenger against him in 2010. Lately, he's been getting more flak from one of the leaders of his own party, House Speaker Marco Rubio.