Crist defeats Fried in Florida gubernatorial Democratic primary

Charlie Crist defeated Cadance Daniel, Nikki Fried, and Robert Willis in the Democratic primary for governor of Florida on August 23, 2022. Crist had received 60% of the vote, followed by Fried with 35%.

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 campaigned on five steps he says would make voting easier 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 as key issues. Three members of Florida’s U.S. House delegation, at least 22 state legislators, the Florida Education Association, and the Florida AFL-CIO endorsed Crist.

Fried was elected as agriculture commissioner in 2018 and is the only Democrat holding statewide office in Florida. Before holding elected office, Fried was a public defender, an attorney in private practice, and a government affairs advocate for the marijuana industry. Fried campaigned on reducing housing costs, lowering the price of homeowner’s insurance, a $15 minimum wage, and creating a small business growth fund. At least four state legislators and the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida endorsed Fried.

Governor Ron DeSantis (R) is running for re-election. At the time of the primary, three independent election forecasters rated the general election as Likely Republican.