Charlie Crist, Cadance Daniel, Nikki Fried, and Robert Willis are running in the Democratic primary election for Governor of Florida on August 23, 2022. Crist and Fried have received the most media attention and endorsements.
Crist was elected to the U.S. House in 2016. He served as governor from 2007 to 2011, attorney general from 2003 to 2007, state education commissioner from 2001 to 2003, and in the state senate from 1992 to 1998. Crist was elected to state office as a Republican before becoming an independent in 2010 and a Democrat in 2012. Crist has campaigned on five steps he says would make it easier to vote in the state, including reversing 2021 changes to the state’s mail ballot policies, providing clean water, and easing transitions for out-of-state transplants. Three members of Florida’s U.S. House delegation, 22 members of the state legislature, the Florida Education Association, and the Florida AFL-CIO endorsed Crist.
Fried was elected as agriculture commissioner in 2018. Fried is the only Democrat to hold statewide elected office in Florida. Prior to holding elected office, she worked as a public defender, attorney in private practice, and government affairs advocate for the marijuana industry. Fried has campaigned on reducing housing costs, lowering the price of homeowner’s insurance, a $15 minimum wage, and creating a small business growth fund as key issues. Four members of the state legislature and the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida endorsed Fried.
Crist’s campaign has focused on restoring civility, ending divisive politics, and working across the political aisle. CNN’s Steve Contorno compared his campaign strategy to that of President Joe Biden (D) in 2020. Fried’s campaign has focused on the idea of electing a new face in Florida politics and has cited Crist’s loss in 2014 to then-Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Biden’s three-point 2020 loss in the state as reasons voters should nominate her.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is running for re-election. Republicans currently hold both a trifecta and a triplex in the state, meaning they hold majorities in both chambers of the state legislature along with the positions of governor, attorney general, and secretary of state. Florida is one of 20 states to have both a Republican trifecta and a Republican triplex.