DeSantis rival to emerge from high-stakes Florida primary
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is poised to learn the identity of his general election opponent on Tuesday as Democrats choose between a man who spent a lifetime in politics — much of it as a Republican — and a woman casting herself as “something new” as she seeks the energy of her party’s resurgent base.
The Democratic establishment has largely lined up behind Charlie Crist, a 66-year-old Democratic congressman who served as the state’s Republican governor more than a decade ago. Running now as a moderate Democrat, Crist is facing 44-year-old Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who hopes to become the state’s first female governor while leaning into the fight for abortion rights.
The race is ultimately a debate over who is best-positioned to defeat DeSantis, who emerged from a narrow victory four years ago to become one of the most prominent Republicans in politics. His relatively light touch handling the pandemic and his eagerness to lean into divides over race, gender and LGBTQ rights have resonated with many Republican voters who see DeSantis as a natural heir to former President Donald Trump.
His reelection effort is widely assumed to be a precursor to a presidential run in
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