Ron DeSantis, Charlie Crist to meet Monday night in only debate ahead of election

DeSantis Crist
Crist struck a chipper note on Twitter Monday morning.

Voters will have their one and only opportunity to judge Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Democrat Charlie Crist head-to-head when the two contenders for Governor meet on a debate stage a 7 p.m. Monday in Fort Pierce.

The debate was supposed to have happened on Oct. 12 in West Palm Beach but was rescheduled after Hurricane Ian hit on Sept. 28.

Crist, a former Republican Governor, Attorney General and Education Commissioner, who most recently served as a Democratic Congressman from Pinellas County, has his work cut out for him against the incumbent: DeSantis is far ahead in fundraising and in the polls.

Nevertheless, Crist struck a chipper note on Twitter Monday morning.

“Good morning, Florida! Who’s ready to watch me hold Ron DeSantis accountable on the debate stage tonight?” he wrote.

DeSantis hadn’t mentioned the debate on his own Twitter thread but Christina Pushaw, his campaign director for rapid response, said the DeSantis War Room thread would be live tweeting the meeting “and debunking any lies or false narratives from the opposition!”

Among the issues Crist is likely to raise are abortion rights — DeSantis pushed Florida’s 15-week abortion ban without exceptions for rape or incest through the Legislature — the state’s escalating housing and insurance costs, controversial education policies and immigration.

DeSantis likely will tout his “Free State of Florida” COVID-19 policies — he opened the schools and businesses sooner than most state following an initial lockdown and banned vaccine and mask mandates — and his supervision of the response to Hurricane Ian.

Crist likely also will seek to tie DeSantis to election denialism and the Republican trend toward casting doubt on the validity of elections; the Governor pushed election restrictions, including the creation of a new vote fraud law enforcement unit that made a number of questionable arrests, even though he praised the conduct of the 2020 elections in Florida.

“Defeat fascism, defeat DeSantis,” Crist wrote in a second Twitter post Monday.

DeSantis led the Democrats by 10 points or more in the most recent polls of Florida voters, according to FiveThirtyEight, the survey analysis site. Additionally, a Mason-Dixon survey of Florida Hispanic voters gave the Governor a 51% to 44% lead statewide.

Fifty-six percent of Hispanic voters approved of DeSantis’ job performance, although his biggest fans were among the Cuban American community. Narrow majorities of Puerto Rican and other non-Cuban Hispanics disapproved of his airlift of mostly Venezuelan asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

___

Michael Moline 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.


3 comments

  • Tom

    October 24, 2022 at 1:02 pm

    No surprise, look for America’s Gov to totally undercut this shameless demagogue, chameleon.

    Florida had never been better, $18 billion in reserves. 2.5% unemployment. Great leadership by Gov, people happy, great quality of life.

    DeSantis saved Florida, 100 yr pandemic, surfside, economy and so much more.

    Crisp has run the worst campaign, only second to the incompetent Nikki Fraud.

    DeSantis is looking at Bob Graham re-elect margin. Enjoy!

  • Tom

    October 24, 2022 at 1:02 pm

    No surprise, look for America’s Gov to totally undercut this shameless demagogue, chameleon.

    Florida had never been better, $18 billion in reserves. 2.5% unemployment. Great leadership by Gov, people happy, great quality of life.

    DeSantis saved Florida, 100 yr pandemic, surfside, economy and so much more.

    Crisp has run the worst campaign, only second to the incompetent Nikki Fraud.

    DeSantis is looking at Bob Graham re-elect margin. Enjoy!

  • Tjb

    October 25, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    Why is DeSantis only doing one debate with Charlie? DeSantis in his November fundraising ad spoke about the “big pair that he had”. Looks like he lost them and he is now afraid to debate . Is he afraid that the voters will see him as a fraud who really doesn’t care about Floridians as he continue his journey as a Presidential candidate.
    If DeSantis has time to campaign, he has time to debate..
    Be a man Ron and debate Charlie

Comments are closed.


#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704




Sign up for Sunburn


Categories