On Tuesday, the Democratic primary voters will decide between a man who has spent his entire life in politics, the majority of which was spent as a Republican, and a woman who is positioning herself as “something new” to capture the enthusiasm of her party’s revitalised base. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will soon find out who will challenge him in the general election.
Charlie Crist, a 66-year-old Democratic congressman who served as the state’s Republican governor more than a decade ago, has received a great deal of support from the Democratic establishment, which has generally aligned itself around Crist.
Nikki Fried, the incumbent Agriculture Commissioner of Florida and a candidate for governor, is 44 years old and is running as a moderate Democrat. Crist, who is now running as a moderate Democrat, is facing Fried, who is leaning into the fight for abortion rights.
The race eventually boils down to a discussion over who is in the strongest position to defeat DeSantis, who rode to prominence as one of the most prominent Republicans in Florida after emerging victorious from a close battle four years ago.
His willingness to lean into divides over race, gender, and LGBTQ rights has resonated with many Republican voters, who see DeSantis as a natural heir to former President Donald Trump. His handling of the pandemic was handled with a relatively light touch, and he was eager to lean into those divides.
It is widely believed that his reelection campaign is a stepping stone toward a run for the presidency in 2024, which has increased the sense of urgency among Democrats to counteract his ascent now.
“I have firsthand experience of the battlefield. I have taken on DeSantis, “Fried disclosed this information to the Associated Press. Because he won’t have 2022, DeSantis “won’t have 2024. “
We are going to have a decisive victory over him in November, and in the process, we are going to put an end to any and all of his hopes of running for president of the United States.”
“He embodies everything contrary to liberty. He rules with absolute power. He is a demagogue. “And I think people are sick of him,” Crist said of the currently serving Republican governor, referring to DeSantis, who earlier this year reprimanded a group of high school students for wearing face masks at an indoor news conference.
Crist was referring to an incident in which DeSantis reprimanded the students for their behaviour. “Who exactly is this dude? Who exactly does he believe he is? He is not in charge here.”
The primary election in Florida brings an end to the most hectic run of contests this year. Republicans from Pennsylvania to Arizona have supported candidates who have embraced Trump’s lies that the 2020 election was stolen.
This assertion has been roundly rejected by elections officials, the former president’s attorney general, and judges he appointed. Republicans from Pennsylvania to Arizona have supported candidates who have embraced Trump’s lies.
And Democrats, for the most part, have been able to sidestep vicious primary contests. However, on Tuesday, voters in New York will participate in congressional primaries.
These primaries feature two powerful Democratic committee chairs, Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler, competing for the same seat. Other incumbents will be defending themselves against challenges from the left.
In the last weeks leading up to the midterm elections, Democrats are entering them with a sense of cautious confidence, hoping that the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion would invigorate the party’s base.
But Democrats will still have to contend with significant obstacles, such as the unpredictability of the economy and the fact that, historically speaking, most parties suffer losses in their first midterm election after taking the White House.
The dynamics are particularly difficult for Democrats in Florida, which is one of the states with the most political polarisation in the United States.
The state’s governorship race in each of the last three elections was decided by a margin of one percentage point or less.
However, throughout the past few years, the state has evolved into a more favourable environment for Republicans.
The state of Florida now has nearly 5.2 million registered Republicans, which is more than the state’s nearly 5 million registered Democrats.
This is the first time in modern history that this has happened. Fried is the sole Democratic candidate running for a statewide post.
In addition, incumbent Republicans in the governor’s office, the United States Senate, the attorney general’s office, and the chief financial officer’s office do not face any primary challengers from their party’s candidates.
Democrats have high hopes that United States Representative Val Demings, who will compete against a relatively unknown opponent in her state’s Senate primary on Tuesday, would be able to unseat Republican Senator Marco Rubio in the general election this autumn.
However, for the time being, the national leadership of the party is placing a higher priority on competitive Senate races in other states, particularly Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania, which are all adjacent states.
The decision that the Supreme Court made about abortion is providing a lot of drama in the last weeks of the Democratic primary for governor in Florida.
By capitalising on Crist’s appointment of two conservative Supreme Court justices while he was governor, Fried has positioned herself as the only candidate who truly supports abortion rights. She has done this by promoting herself as the only candidate running for this office.
It won’t be long until the court, which leans conservative, decides whether or not the measure passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature to restrict abortions beyond 15 weeks violates the constitution.
The new abortion law that was just signed into law in Florida allows for certain exceptions. These include situations in which the procedure is required to save the life of the pregnant woman, to prevent serious injury, or if the foetus has a fatal abnormality. It does not make any exceptions for situations involving rape, incest, or the trafficking of humans.
Crist insisted that he is “pro-choice” and brought up a bill that he vetoed as governor in 2010 that would have required women seeking a first-trimester abortion to get and pay for an ultrasound exam. The bill was proposed to require women to get an ultrasound exam before they were allowed to have an abortion.
Crist told the Associated Press that “it is a woman’s right to choose.” “There is no question about my track record. And for my opponent to try to muddy up that issue is unconscionable, unfair, and foolish.”
The voters have a clear choice between Crist, a lifelong politician who has been supported by the establishment and is seen as a relatively safe choice, and Fried, a newer face who may be in a better position to catch fire with the party’s most passionate voters. Both candidates differ in experience and personality.
In the current election season, Crist has already raised $14 million, which is roughly twice as much money as Fried has. As someone who has held political office continuously since 1992, his supporters praise him for being dependable, affable, and possessing a good memory.
In this century, he is Florida’s most successful politician in the retail sector. He is simply remarkable for being a politician. “He asks about my grandchildren by name,” said Mac Stipanovich, a political strategist who formerly served as chief of staff to former Republican Governor Bob Martinez. “He seems to take a personal interest in their lives.”
Fried, on the other hand, has more than double the number of followers on each social network and is very quick to adapt to changing online trends. She rose to prominence as one of DeSantis’ most ferocious adversaries by persistently questioning him on policy matters about the COVID-19 outbreak.
A position to ensure LGBTQ members are given opportunities was also created by her within her department. The Human Rights Campaign recently described what DeSantis is doing as “an assault on transgender Floridians.”
The “Don’t Say Gay” bill, as its detractors have dubbed it, was signed into law by DeSantis. It prohibits teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through the third grade and places restrictions on teaching it in higher grades.
In addition, he was a strong supporter of the “stop WOKE act,” which prohibits discussions and analyses that are based on race in professional and educational settings. However, a judge in Florida ruled just last week that the law unconstitutionally violates free speech rights.
These kinds of concerns have helped improve DeSantis’ popularity with Republican voters.
After campaigning for Republican candidates in Arizona, New Mexico, and Ohio, the governor of Florida held a rally in Pennsylvania over the weekend, where he addressed more than one thousand voters and bragged about his accomplishments.
Officially, DeSantis was in Pennsylvania to lend his support to Doug Mastriano, who is running for governor as a Republican. However, in his address to the audience in Pittsburgh, DeSantis scarcely mentioned Mastriano’s name and instead concentrated on the political battles he faced in Florida to confront liberal “woke ideology.” Mastriano is a former opponent of DeSantis.
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He did not make any mention of the fact that he will be seeking reelection as governor this year.
DeSantis is quoted as having remarked, “If you lead, and if you lead with power and courage, and if you bring results, the people will be with you.”