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Former governors speak at UF about voting, preserving state’s natural resources


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Former Florida governors Bob Martinez and Buddy MacKay reflect on their terms and discuss the state's future with moderator Ben Diamond, a 2003 graduate of the UF Levin College of Law at an event hosted by the law school Friday.

With the presidential election less than a month away, five former Florida governors emphasized the importance of voting to an audience at the University of Florida Curtis M. Phillips Center.

Five of the past nine Florida governors visited UF this morning, speaking about growth management, keeping students in Florida after graduation and exercising democratic rights — such as voting.

“You are good people,” former Gov. Charlie Crist told the audience. “Do something. And start Nov. 6. And continue.”

Although democracy was a main topic, much of the conversation focused on the importance of preserving Florida’s natural resources.

Each former governor also gave advice to the students, including some high school students, in the audience about how to prepare for a career in state leadership.

“This was a real opportunity for the students,” former Gov. Buddy MacKay said. “I hope that it may have helped their long-term view.”

Some attending hoped to hear the former leaders reflect on their terms and address the state’s future.

“History repeats itself,” said Candy Ganyo, a Gainesville resident. “And a lot of young people don’t understand that. Look at our fashions, they repeat. If the fashions repeat, you know the history repeats, and if we don’t get familiar with what was, we’re not gonna be able to control what’s coming.”

Hana Engroff wrote this story online.

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