Crist Launches Bid to Unseat Florida Gov. Ron Desantis; Fried, Demings Also Expected to Run in 2022

By  //  May 11, 2021

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DESANTIS CONSIDERED BY MANY TO BE AMERICA'S MOST EFFECTIVE GOVERNOR

Last week, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., formally launched his bid to take on Gov. Ron DeSantis, above, and reclaim his old job. Soon after Crist jumped in, state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the only Democrat holding statewide office in Florida, quickly hinted that she will run for governor.

(FLORIDA DAILY) – While the Florida Legislature will return for a special session focused on gaming and the Seminole compact next week, increasing attention is turning to the 2022 elections.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., formally launched his bid to take on Gov. Ron DeSantis and reclaim his old job.

Crist’s announcement was the first domino to fall as Florida Democrats look ahead to 2022.

Soon after Crist jumped in, state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the only Democrat holding statewide office in Florida, quickly hinted that she will run for governor.

When Crist announced he was entering the race, U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., launched an online video offering details on her biography, leading to more speculation that she will run for governor.

Charlie Crist began his political career as a Republican, serving in the Florida Senate from 1993 to 1999, running unsuccessfully against incumbent Bob Graham for the U.S. Senate in 1998 and then serving as Florida Education Commissioner from 2001 to 2003 and Florida Attorney General from 2003 to 2007, before being elected governor in 2006.

With Democrats starting to line up to take on DeSantis, at least one prominent official is staying out of the race.

State Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, one of the leading progressives in the state, said last week that she will run for another term in the House instead of entering the gubernatorial race.

In the meantime, Democrats are also looking at taking on U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., next year. Allen Ellison entered the race back in December but he did not do well in his two bids for Congress and it’s near impossible to see him turning into a major contender in this race.

Former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., launched a Senate bid at the end of March but he is coming off some political losses, getting blown out in the Democratic Senate primary in 2016 and losing to U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla. in 2018.

Democrats are counting on U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., to enter the race and all signs indicate that she will jump in. Still, another Democrat is looking at getting in.

Last week, former State Attorney Aramis Ayala, who garnered national attention for refusing to seek the death penalty, opened the door to getting in the Senate race.

While Democrats begin to line up to challenge him, Rubio has nailed down his base and, with former President Donald Trump backing him last month, the senator should not face a major threat in the primary.

By Kevin Derby, Florida Daily

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