Update: Fried, Crist face off in debate as DeSantis looms large
TALLAHASSEE — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist have held their first and only debate before the Democratic gubernatorial primary.
Crist, a St. Petersburg congressman and former GOP governor, and Fried, the only statewide elected Democrat in Florida, faced off in a debate taped in South Florida on Thursday.
The primary is scheduled for Aug. 23.
Both candidates spent significant time bashing Gov. Ron DeSantis and casting themselves as the party’s best chance at beating the surging Republican. The candidates fielded questions on on abortion, gun legislation, immigration and other topics that dominated this year’s contentious legislative session.
Original article, published Thursday
Debate between Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist airs on TV this evening
A broadcast of the one and only debate between the two Democratic candidates vying to take on Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is 7 p.m. today, July 21..
The candidates are Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist of St. Petersburg, who is a former Republican governor, and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
Fried is the only Democrat holding statewide office in Florida.
She has gone after Crist about his record from his time as a Republican before 2010, and about a statement in April that he is, quote, "pro-life" though, he says, he strongly supports a woman's right to choose.
Between the two, Crist leads in the polls. And his campaign has largely avoided Fried, focusing instead on DeSantis.
You can watch the debate on NBC6-dot-com, Telemundo channels in Florida, and several NBC stations, including WESH-2 in Central Florida.
Preview by Joe Byrnes, WMFE News. Produced with assistance from the Public Media Journalists Association Editor Corps funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.