Charlie Crist to Face GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis in Florida: Results


Florida is holding several primaries on Tuesday. Polls in most of the state closed at 7 p.m. ET and the last polls closed at 8 p.m. ET. 

 

The race and the stakes: 

Rep. Charlie Crist, a former Republican and Florida governor whose district includes St. Petersburg, resoundingly defeated Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried for the Democratic nomination to face Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

DeSantis has received a ton of national attention given the speculation that he’ll run for the Republican nomination for president in 2024. Many think he presents the greatest threat to another reelection campaign from former President Donald Trump.

But DeSantis first faces a bid to win four more years in the governor’s mansion in November.

Democrats don’t appear to be holding out much hope that they can topple DeSantis, who rose to national name recognition as a congressman defending Trump’s controversial presidency and then as governor after waging frequent battles against the Biden administration’s COVID-19 policies. 

They’ve instead put more funding and energy into the US Senate race, where Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is up for reelection for a third term. 

Rubio — a bilingual Cuban American who ran for president in 2016 — has been touting a record of accomplishments in the upper chamber. 

His Democratic challenger is Rep. Val Demings, a former police chief from Orlando who served as one of the House managers during Trump’s first Senate impeachment trial in early 2020 and has raised nearly $49 million for her campaign. She defeated Brian Rush, a former Florida House member; progressive William Sanchez, an immigration lawyer; and Richardo De La Fuente, who previously ran for the US House. 

One poll from the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab found Demings ahead against Rubio, at 48% to 44%. 

And 25-year-old gun violence prevention activist Maxwell Frost won the crowded Democratic primary for Demings’ safely-Democratic Orlando-based congressional seat, putting him on track to be the first member of Congress from Generation Z. 

While Florida tends to be close every election, the prospects for Democrats are generally considered dim moving forward. Florida Republicans have out-registered Democrats in the state by 220,000 people. 

One primary race in the US House being closely watched on the Republican side is for Florida’s 1st congressional district. Currently holding the seat is GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, a MAGA faithful who is reportedly under investigation by the Justice Department for having sex with a 17-year-old and paying for her to travel with him. Gaetz has not been charged with a crime and has denied wrongdoing. 

Gaetz’s lead Republican challenger is Mark Lombardo, a former FedEx executive and Marine Corps veteran. 

Florida is a “closed” primary state — meaning that residents have to be affiliated with a specific party to be able to vote for candidates within that party. 

State legislative primaries

 



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