TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist has tapped a University of South Florida graduate to be his campaign manager.

Omar Khan will fill the position that has been vacant since Crist’s first choice for the job backed out.

“I love him,” Crist said of Khan in a statement released by the campaign. “He loves Florida. He’s coming home to help us put the people back in charge.”

Khan was deputy political director in Florida for President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and served as national associate political director on Obama’s re-election bid. Khan is also the former director of congressional and intergovernmental relations for the Hurricane Sandy Task Force and has worked at the Environmental Protection Agency.

“He’s smart, savvy, and as a Floridian, understands how important electing Charlie Crist is to the middle class,” said Jim Messina, an aide to Crist, who is trying to make a comeback after serving an earlier stint as a Republican governor.

Crist’s first choice, Bill Hyers, who led New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s successful campaign, decided in December not to take the job after all.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.


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