TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The first and only debate in Florida’s gubernatorial race was held Monday night in Fort Pierce, and we want you to weigh in on our unscientific poll to let us know who you think won: Gov. Ron DeSantis or former Rep. Charlie Crist.
The debate, as expected, was full of fiery exchanges between the current governor and former governor. The two traded barbs over some of the most controversial topics like abortion, immigration, education and Florida’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several times throughout the night, Crist accused DeSantis of taking his “eye off the ball” and being focused on running for president in 2024. One of the most intense moments of the debate was when Crist asked DeSantis if he could look in the eyes of voters and promise them he’d serve a full four-year term if re-elected.
DeSantis responded that, “the only worn-out old donkey I’m looking to put out to pasture is Charlie Crist.”
One of the big topics headed into the debate was Florida’s homeowners insurance crisis. Crist and DeSantis had one exchange on the topic.
The governor, in part, blamed inflation, saying it’s more expensive now to replace a roof. He also said Florida is number one when it comes to litigation with homeowners insurance.
“So we call the special session, we addressed part of that,” DeSantis said, referring to the special legislative session that convened earlier this year to address the crisis. He added that the state needs to build off what was done during that session.
Crist, on the other hand, argued that Florida is the most expensive state, echoing again his accusation that DeSantis took his “eye off the ball.”
“Property insurance, under you, has doubled in the state of Florida. Doubled,” Crist said.
Editor’s note: This poll is an unscientific, open-access website poll conducted by WFLA.com. It should not be used as an indication of candidate support.