Democrats come together at unity celebration — even a second-place finisher

Negative ads against each other ended, rivals Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist came together for party unity and Val Demings provided a high point.

With a bruising Primary season just two days gone, Democrats came together in Florida’s bluest congressional district Thursday to rally for unity behind the party’s November ticket.

The event drew together the two top rivals for the party’s gubernatorial nomination, nominee Charlie Crist and the second-place finisher, Agricultural Secretary Nikki Fried. They even sat side-by-side in the first row of seats.

“Turn Florida blue in 2022,” was the obvious slogan for the gathering.

The crowd included a full complement of South Florida’s state delegation, such as Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book and Sens. Shevrin Jones and Tina Polsky.

“We’ve got to make sure that everybody’s pulling the same direction at the same time to get to the same conclusion — and that is winning Nov. 8,” Crist said. “Winning Broward, Palm Beach Miami, and all 67 counties. We can do this.”

The evening’s high point  came with late-arriving U.S. Rep. Val Demings, who’s trying to unseat Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. Her voice hoarse, she summoned the image of U.S. Rep. John Lewis, about to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, as similar to what Democrats are facing.

She touched on voting rights, tighter gun control and a woman’s right to choose. On that, she contrasted the party’s position with her opponent’s “disgusting” one: banning abortion, even in the case of incest and rape.

“Democrats, are we shutting up?” she asked.

“No!” came the reply.

“We are going to fight and fight and fight,” Demings said. “That future of opportunity rests in the hands of the people in the Democratic Party. We can win!”

The crowd erupted in chants of “Chief, chief, chief,” as the former Orlando Police Chief climbed down from the stage.

The event was also a fundraiser, with tickets ranging from $100 to $5,000.

Before the marquee names got up to speak, the crowd had the opportunity to hear from some of the candidates down the ballot. Adam Hattersley, the Democratic nominee for Chief Financial Officer, spoke, and the crowd learned he was a rocket scientist. Naomi Esther Blemur, Democratic nominee for Agriculture Commissioner, also spoke, conjuring her grandmother, a Haitian immigrant, unable to speak English, picking tomatoes.

“For 10 years, she picked tomatoes, never having proper health care, never having a pension or the possibility of owning the farm,” Blemur said. “But this senior citizen was sowing a seed and that seed has produced the first woman of color to qualify to run for the Commissioner of Agriculture.”

Before Crist came onstage, Fried gamely thanked the crowd for her 3 ½ years serving as the state’s Agriculture Commissioner. But other local candidates who lost their Primary did not attend.

That includes former Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief, who challenged the Leader Book in Senate District 35, and former Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, who lost his Primary to U.S. Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick in Florida’s 20th Congressional District. 

Fried promised she would still be out on the public stage. “I will be out there every day fighting for this ticket,” she said, before exiting the stage as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” played.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Tom

    August 26, 2022 at 6:19 am

    LMAO, no such thing as Dum Dems coming together. Chameleon crisp is a flip flopper liar.
    Dum Demings still looking for her gun.
    Total clown show coming down I 95.

    • Charlie Crist

      August 26, 2022 at 8:15 am

      ^ For an example of clown show…look no further than this guy. Vote Crist to rid Florida of this guy…

      • Impeach Biden

        August 26, 2022 at 9:56 am

        Rather than campaign Charlie is on this site arguing with people. I guess Charlie knows a butt whipping is coming his way in November. Charlie, give my best to the band of misfits Corsin / Offen. 🤣

        • Charlie Crist

          August 26, 2022 at 10:08 am

          👆Needs to be taught a lesson not to vote for exploitative, lying hogs. Yeah need FAT CAMMACK to come sandwich your face with gargantuan bare azz🍩 Sit down on you and wax on wax off💋😆

          • Impeach Biden

            August 26, 2022 at 10:28 am

            Charlie I think you need a weekend getaway to Wilton Manors and take out some of that tension you are feeling my friend.

          • Charlie Crist

            August 26, 2022 at 11:25 am

            Yeah Nikki Fried gonna give you and Ron a rapid face slap with sharp nails. Val Demings will grill sardine over your fire. Russian Ron’s plane will be shot down by blue AAA fire.. will be taken hostage by Gavin. Trump will then say that he likes people who weren’t captured.😆

      • Internet malarky

        August 26, 2022 at 3:17 pm

        Tom is proof that letting anyone use the Internet was a mistake.

        • Tom

          August 26, 2022 at 9:11 pm

          Facts are funny things.
          Yes, under your fascism you and your fraud party, you look to silence anyone you disagree with.
          Go scratch ass.

  • Tom

    August 26, 2022 at 11:29 am

    Charlie says love my good and plenty.
    Charlie says really rings a bell.
    Charlie says love my good and plenty.
    For no other, other candy that I love so well.
    Plenty good Charlie!! LMAO

    • Charlie Crist

      August 26, 2022 at 12:08 pm

      – Donald says grab them by the gash
      – Donald says give me your GD money
      – Donald says election was stolen
      – Donald says please perform acts of sedition and terrorism to uphold my billionaire ego…go to jail for me

Comments are closed.


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