Fla. Gov. Race: Crist to Challenge DeSantis
Former Republican Gov. of Florida., Charlie Crist - who switched to the Democrat party in 2012- defeated Democrat primary challenger Nikki Fried by a roughly 60% to 35% vote margin on Tuesday. He will now oppose incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis in November.
- Former Republican Gov. of Florida., Charlie Crist - who switched to the Democrat party in 2012- defeated Democrat primary challenger Nikki Fried by a roughly 60% to 35% vote margin on Tuesday. He will now oppose incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis in November.
- Crist was elected governor as a Republican in 2006 and held that position through 2011. He ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2010 as an independent, before becoming a Democrat. He ran for gov. in 2014 but lost and has been serving as a Congressman representing the St. Petersburg area since 2017.
- Much of Crist's campaign focused on criticizing the 15-week abortion ban signed by DeSantis, and opposing LGBTQ-related legislation, such as the ban on teaching gender and sexuality from kindergarten through third grade.
- Fried, who is the state Commissioner of Agriculture, criticized Crist for his Republican past, though the two were united in their opposition to DeSantis, whom they say has prioritized a potential presidential run in 2024.
- Crist is facing long odds against DeSantis, with analysts pointing to the incumbent's strong approval ratings and roughly $172M raised so far. Crist has raised about $15M.
- Crist, however, believes he can win on the issues as DeSantis defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum by just a 0.4% margin in 2018.
Sources: Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, and FOX News.
- Republican narrative, as provided by The American Spectator. Democrats obviously don't back up their words with their votes. For all their rhetoric about progressive issues, and bettering the lives of women and minorities, they went with the lukewarm candidate. Crist's track record lacks any notable achievements, making him an even worse choice.
- Democratic narrative, as provided by Huffpost. Choosing Crist over Fried was a pragmatic decision because he can appeal to moderate voters and create a coalition to defeat DeSantis. Gillum's loss four years ago is a cautionary tale of what can happen when the more progressive candidate tries to run for statewide office in Florida.