Charlie Crist, a Democrat, used his ties from his years in Florida politics to get a position on the ticket to compete against Ron DeSantis, a Republican governor. They may have ambitions to run for president in 2024.
According to the Associated Press, former governor and US House member Charlie Crist won the Democratic primary for governor of Florida on Tuesday by defeating Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and two other contenders with 60.2% of the vote. DeSantis faced no opposition for the GOP nomination in the general election of November 8.
In other Florida primary contests, Republican US Senator Marco Rubio, unchallenged for the GOP nomination, faced Democratic US Representative and former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings in the general election.
Also Read: The benefits of a crypto exchange
DeSantis, who has a significant money advantage and will seek a decisive reelectionreelection victory as a launching pad for a prospective White House run, opens the contest as a considerable underdog to Crist.
According to polls, if he decides to run for office again, former President Donald Trump is the clear favorite to win the Republican nomination, with DeSantis trailing well behind but still well ahead of other potential contenders.
DeSantis has been promoting his record at rallies in Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio, and Pennsylvania while campaigning for reelectionreelection. He has also supported candidates for the US Senate and other races in 2022. This week, he even debuted a video portraying himself as a “Top Gov” pilot taking on the “corporate media” in the style of the “Top Gun” films.
As a result of DeSantis’ emphasis on culture war battles, including a law limiting school instruction about gender identity and sexual orientation that detractors refer to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Crist argued during the primary campaign with Fried that he was best positioned to win over centrist and unaffiliated voters to defeat DeSantis. DeSantis was dubbed the “worst governor in modern Florida history” by Crist.
“What he’s doing is giving up everything that Floridians care about to pursue the White House because he’s thinking about it all day, every day,” Crist remarked during a July 21 televised debate. “That’s why he’s going after these red-meat, unbelievable issues.”
Before spending one term as governor from 2007 to 2011, Crist, 66, a Republican who has been a US Representative since 2017, had held the positions of state senator, commissioner of education, and attorney general. In 2010 he switched to independence, and in 2012 to democracy.
Michael Binder, director of the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida, claimed that Crist significantly outperformed Fried due to his extensive experience in Florida politics. Despite being the sole elected Democrat in the state and running for governor, 31% of probable primary voters said they were unaware of Fried in a poll conducted earlier this month, he added.
In addition, Crist has long courted Black voters, who, according to independent pollster Brad Coker of Florida’s Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, are expected to make up nearly a quarter of the primary electorate and primarily support Crist.
Fried, a candidate who ran on the promise of “something different,” blasted Crist for switching parties and changing his mind about various topics, including abortion. After the US Supreme Court reversed the Roe v. Wade ruling, which allowed abortion across the country, in June, Fried focused on the abortion problem. According to Crist’s website, he would issue an executive order on “Day 1” “defending the right to seek a safe abortion.”
However, Crist outraised Fried in fundraising, amassing $15 million by August 18 compared to Fried’s $8 million. While the beginning of 2021, DeSantis has accrued $154 million, surpassing the amount of money Trump has reportedly earned since leaving office.
According to reports, Crist spent little less than $6 million on television, radio, and digital advertising before the primary compared to Fried’s $2.4 million. DeSantis spent $4.6 million on advertisements, most of which went toward digital.