He's bucking decades of political orthodoxy in the largest swing-voting state.
For years, politicians have been careful about what they say about the issue. That's out of fear of alienating Florida's powerful Cuban-American voters. Many of them fled Fidel Castro's Cuba.
But Democrats, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, see an opening with newer Cuban arrivals and second-generation Cuban-Americans who favor resuming diplomatic relations.
Republicans and some Democrats say the efforts are a betrayal of the Cuban-American community.
Crist's campaign will be the first statewide test of whether the trade restrictions are still a live wire for Florida politicians.
The outcome could help reshape American foreign policy and Florida's political landscape.
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