On Tuesday, Democrats in Florida nominated U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist as the candidate who will stand against incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis this fall.
As it stands, Florida Democrats sided with Crist since they viewed him as the safest choice. The 66-year-old has already served one term as governor, running as a Republican at the time before gravitating toward Democrats.
In winning the nomination, Crist defeated Nikki Fried, the state agriculture commissioner who staked out a more progressive campaign and was particularly vocal in defending abortion and LGBTQ rights. The 44-year-old hoped to compete to become Florida’s first female governor.
In Florida’s governor’s race, the Supreme Court’s abortion decision animated the final weeks of the Democratic primary. While Fried promoted herself as the only true abortion-rights supporter in the race, Crist insisted he is “pro-choice” and highlighted a bill he vetoed as governor in 2010 that would have required women seeking a first-trimester abortion to get and pay for an ultrasound exam.
For the first time in modern history, Florida has more registered Republicans — nearly 5.2 million — than Democrats, who have nearly 5 million registered voters.