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Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist wins primary to face GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis in November

BREAKING NEWS: Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist wins primary to face GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis in November: Pelosi-backed House lawmaker beats progressive Nikki Fried in the Sunshine State

  • Rep. Charlie Crist was beforehand the Republican governor of Florida, then re-registered as an Independent earlier than changing into a Democrat
  • His bid for the Democratic nomination was endorsed by House Speaker Pelosi
  • Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried was as soon as seen as a rising star on the left, after changing into the one statewide elected Democrat in 2018 

Florida Rep. Charlie Crist received his state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary on Tuesday night time and can now face Republican Governor Ron DeSantis in November.

DeSantis, whose approval numbers are skyrocketing not simply in the Sunshine State however amongst Republicans nationwide, is uncontested in the GOP primary. 

Crist had been polling forward of his opponent, progressive Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried for weeks.

He got here out forward early on Tuesday night time and retained a snug double-digit lead after polls closed at 7pm Eastern Time.

Crist went into Tuesday’s race with excessive profile endorsements together with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

The reasonable lawmaker was a Republican when he served one time period as governor of Florida from 2007 till 2011. After a failed bid for Senate he narrowly lost re-election to Republican Rick Scott in 2014. 

He ran as a Democrat for Florida’s thirteenth Congressional District, a seat he is held since 2017. 

Crist’s race has been a smaller-scale take a look at run of President Joe Biden’s profitable 2020 marketing campaign, although the Democrat lost Florida to Donald Trump in that race.

Like Biden he is sought to painting himself as a unifying and non-divisive candidate who’s targeted on kitchen desk points.

He’s additionally already set his sights on DeSantis, attacking him on Election Day as a ‘barbaric, wannabe dictator’ in feedback to The Guardian

‘He is the alternative of freedom. He is an autocrat. He is a demagogue. And I believe persons are sick of him,’ Crist advised the Associated Press the identical day. 

On the opposite finish of the Democratic spectrum is Fried, who was briefly seen as a darling of the progressive motion when she turned Florida’s solely statewide elected Democrat in 2018.

Florida Gubernatorial candidate Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) speaks to the media earlier than casting his vote in the primary election at The Gathering Church on August 23, 2022

Fried appeared to get a lift in help amid nationwide outrage over the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in June.

She contrasted herself from Crist by taking forceful stances on points like abortion and legalizing marijuana, arguing that her fiery persona is the right match-up to defeat a bombastic and tradition war-focused DeSantis marketing campaign. 

DeSantis predicted Fried would lose on Tuesday throughout a state Cabinet meeting hours earlier than the polls closed.

He mentioned she ‘had a chance as being the one Democrat elected statewide to train some management and get some issues completed and as an alternative she’s used her time to principally attempt to smear me every day.’

‘She ought to’ve been ready to win that going away and it looks as if she’s going to come up not simply quick however considerably quick and I believe that’s most likely why,’ DeSantis mentioned. 

But November continues to be possible to carry an uphill battle. 

Early polls have proven DeSantis besting each Crist and Fried in hypothetical match-ups, a meteoric rise after having narrowly received the governorship in 2018.

He turned a breakout GOP star for his vocal opposition to the Biden administration’s COVID-19 insurance policies and has remained in the headlines.

Leaning into conservative stances on LGBTQ issues, faculties and race earned him appreciation from Republicans throughout the nation, together with a major swath of Trump supporters.

The governor’s additionally thought to have his sights on the White House in 2024.

He’s amassed a hefty conflict chest for a politician on the state degree, with greater than $100 million already given to his 2022 marketing campaign. 

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