Charlie Crist, Nikki Fried: Primary candidates held a ‘conversation’ but much was retreaded territory
The Florida Capitol, January 2021. Credit: Michael Moline

'Who does that? Apparently, our current Governor does that.'

The two major Gubernatorial Primary candidates Wednesday evening did little to move the needle on some of the most significant political issues related to their platforms, from the economy, education reforms and assault weapon bans.

But both Democratic candidates, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, had some differences.

One of them was that Crist didn’t reference Fried’s name at any time in the half-hour conversation with a panel of top journalists in Florida. That likely means that he has moved on to campaign against the Republican opponent, Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Fried did mention Crist in her conversation with the panel, particularly about abortion rights. Fried said that Crist had earlier been considered “pro-life.” She also said Crist, when he was a Republican Governor, appointed “the most extremist anti-choice Supreme Court justices,” at that time.

But Crist, from Pinellas County, said he vetoed legislation that would have required women to pay for an ultrasound before undergoing the procedure and added that he enjoys a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

“The real question here is, why does Gov. DeSantis believe in restricting a woman’s right to make a decision about her own health and her own body?” he said.

Florida’s new 15-week abortion ban includes no exceptions for rape or incest. “Who does that?” Crist wondered. “Apparently, our current Governor does that.”

Fried also mentioned, as a difference, that Florida should legalize cannabis.

“Right now, so many people still in our state are in the jails and in our prison system for cannabis possession or related, you know, arrests. That way, if you take people out of the jail system, you’re lowering your cost for your public defenders, needing your state attorneys, your courthouses, your jails.”

In addition to her Agriculture Commissioner and statewide elected Cabinet role, Fried is an attorney, a former public defender, and a former lobbyist on cannabis issues.

Crist has been a Republican governor, Attorney General, and Education Commissioner over the years before he became a Democrat and is currently in Congress.

“I’m the best prepared to do it. I’ve done it. I’ve been your Governor. I’ve been your attorney general. I’ve been your commissioner of education,” Crist said.

“I don’t need any on-the-job training. I can do it from Day One,” Crist said on his panel conversation. “And, on Day One, I’ll sign an executive order to make sure that women in Florida has a right to choose when it comes to their health.”


Michael Moline and Danielle Brown reporting via Florida Phoenix.

Florida Phoenix is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Diane Rado for questions: [email protected]. Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.

Florida Phoenix

Florida Phoenix is a news and opinion outlet focused on government and political news coverage within the state of Florida.


  • Elliott Offen

    August 5, 2022 at 12:07 pm

    Jesus Crist is here to save us from DeSatan. Vote BLUE!!! Afterwards we will hunt down his demonic far right constituents and charge them for their abominable crimes against America.
    🔵Vote BLUE 🔵

    • Impeach Biden

      August 5, 2022 at 4:29 pm

      Elliott / Joe, I just canceled your vote. Ask yourself why so many are fleeing BLUE states and moving to Florida and Texas. People are tired of the high taxes, poor infrastructure, record crime due to the defund idiocy. If you prefer chaos, high crime and taxes then by all means move to the BLUE states.

  • Elliott Offen

    August 6, 2022 at 10:00 am

    People moving to Florida are
    1) Retiring. This been going on for half a century
    2) People who are moving from one BLUE city to another
    3) Rude and racist dregs of New York and New Jersey (enjoy idiot!)

    Has nothing to do with the stupid GOP propaganda that has rotted your feeble mind.

  • David

    August 8, 2022 at 3:05 pm

    Ask yourself why it’s the red states that are the “takers” from the fed gov., while it’s the blue states that are the “givers”. They may have lower taxes, but they have to get money from the federal gov’t to cover basic social services and others, in order to be able to fund their states. Their Congressional representatives never want to help, when there is a disaster in blue states, but they expect blue states to help THEIR states, when there’s a disaster in one of theirs. It tells me what kind of people that they are. It’s also the “RED states that have highest death rates from gun violence. Ask yourself why. And btw, I’m cancelling YOUR vote.

Comments are closed.


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