TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Florida, has won the Democratic primary for Florida’s gubernatorial election.
In a speech after his primary victory, Crist emphasized the importance of minority rights and democracy in the upcoming general election, saying DeSantis presents a threat to both.
“When we defeat him on Nov. 8, that show is over!” Crist said.
Crist said the 2022 Florida governor’s race is one of the most consequential races in the state’s history, saying it will fight back on what he called Republicans extremism.
“They want to turn back the clock on our freedom,” he said. “They’re trying to undermine our democracy in ways that no one could have ever imagined. That stops here.”
Crist previously served as Florida’s 44th governor from 2007 to 2011 as a member of the Republican Party at the time.
He would later switch allegiances to the Democratic Party in 2012, eventually becoming the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 13th District.
As part of his commitment to protecting civil liberties, Crist said he would sign an executive order protecting a woman’s right to choose if he were elected. He also said he would restore Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren to his position, undoing a controversial decision by DeSantis to suspend him.
“[DeSantis] is abusive, he is a bully, and he’s dangerous,” Crist said.
Meanwhile, former nominee Nikki Fried made a speech conceding the race to Crist and saying that Democrats need to be more united than ever.
“We are going to make Ron DeSantis a one-term governor and a zero-term president of the United States,” Fried said.
Crist, in turn, thanked Fried for her service as Florida’s agriculture commissioner, saying they wanted the same goal: “to save our state and defeat DeSantis.
Crist will now campaign against DeSantis for his position in the general elections on Nov. 8, 2022.