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Crist or Fried? Democratic primary to decide DeSantis opponent

  • August 23, 2022

Florida’s Democratic primary pits Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried against St. Petersburg Congressman Charlie Crist, who served as governor of Florida between 2007 and 2011, most of it as a Republican.

Crist left the party in 2010, to run as an independent against Marco Rubio for the U.S. Senate. He made another run for governor in 2014, this time as a Democrat but lost to now U.S. Republican Sen. Rick Scott.

Crist won a seat to the U.S. House in 2016 and has been a reliable vote for the Democratic Party’s agenda ever since.

In recent days, some new polls show Fried has narrowed the lead Crist has held for most of the Democratic primary campaign. A lawyer, and former lobbyist for the medical marijuana industry, has positioned herself as “something new” for Florida.

Fried calls herself the only “pro-choice” candidate in television ads and she frequently hammers Crist over his past support for conservative policies including on abortion.

In July, Florida’s new 15-week abortion ban went into effect.

That, coupled with the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, has been a focal point of this primary.

The candidates sparred over the issue in a recent debate.

“Why do Republicans like Ron DeSantis not honor and respect a woman’s right to choose? A woman’s right to choose is at stake. I’m for it I’ll fight for it,” Crist said.

“You know Charlie, I’m not definitely not going to let you rewrite history, Fried countered. “That is not accurate. He did veto a piece of legislation, after he left the Republican Party, not because he saw the light, but because he saw the polls.”

Crist has voted consistently in favor of abortion rights while in Congress and is endorsed in Tuesday’s race by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But as Florida’s

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