|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is engaged to a woman he met last September during a trip to New York, according to a published report Thursday evening.
Crist, 51, asked Carole Rome, 38, his girlfriend of nine months, to marry him on Thursday at his St. Petersburg apartment, the St. Petersburg Times reported on its Web site. Crist says she said yes without hesitation.
"She's special in every way. She's brilliant, beautiful and sweet. I'm very, very lucky,'' Crist told the Times on its politics blog, The Buzz.
Crist told the Times he picked out the sapphire and diamond ring on Wednesday at the Gold and Diamond Center in St. Petersburg's Northeast Shopping Center.
Crist says the couple may plan a fall wedding, most likely a small ceremony in St. Petersburg followed by a larger reception at the governor's mansion. Crist said he hopes he and Rome can have a child.
"I'm very, very happy," the governor told the Times. "I love her."
Crist's relationship with Rome became national news when he brought the businesswoman to a gathering with Republican John McCain on Memorial Day weekend. Crist's name comes up often as a potential vice presidential candidate for McCain.
Rome is a 1992 honors graduate of Georgetown University who became president of her family's 100-year-old Franco American Novelty Co., a Halloween costume business, in 2000. She has two daughters, ages 9 and 11, from a previous marriage to Todd Rome, CEO of Blue Star Jets. She stopped managing hr company's daily business when she moved to Fisher Island near Miami in 2006. In court records, Todd Rome estimated that his ex-wife's income has been as high as $1.48-million a year. Crist earns about $140,000 a year as governor.
Crist said they met at a dinner where he and friends were discussing fundraising.
Asked what made him fall in love, Crist said, ``Her beautiful smile, her sweetness, her brilliance -- all of it.''