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Democratic candidates for Governor and U.S. Senate make their case to voters

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and former Florida Governor and U.S....
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and former Florida Governor and U.S. Representative Charlie Crist, candidates for governor, both agree they want Governor Ron DeSantis out.(WCTV)
Published: Aug. 1, 2021 at 3:46 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and former Florida Governor and U.S. Representative Charlie Crist, candidates for governor, both agree they want Governor Ron DeSantis out.

They both spoke at an event Saturday organized by North Florida Democrats. Crist criticized DeSantis’s lack of support for environmental protection and women’s reproductive rights, as well as his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If we had a leader who would advocate wearing masks, who would advocate getting vaccines, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Crist said.

Crist’s opponent, Nikki Fried, characterized herself as a fighter for the people, highlighting her accomplishments in pushing a progressive agenda as the only democratic statewide-elected official. Fried is also a member of the Florida cabinet, which she said allowed her to hold Governor DeSantis accountable.

“And now we have an even greater opportunity to hold this governor accountable, to make sure that he is a one term governor,” Fried said. “He has taken our state into an authoritarian dictatorship realm.”

Two candidates for U.S Senate, Congresswoman Val Demings and Miami City Commissioner Ken Russel, also spoke at the event.

Demings highlighted her working-class upbringing and reflected on the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

“Do you care about healthcare?” Demings asked the crowd. “Do you care about public education? Do you think teachers should be paid what they deserve to be paid?”

Russell discussed his efforts to clean parks in his community and promised he would not attack fellow democrats with negative ads in the primary. He made no such promise about Republican incumbent Marco Rubio.

“I believe that we are working together to remove the worst senator, the worst incumbent senator in US history for Florida, Marco Rubio,” Russel said.

Elections for Governor and U.S. Senate will be held Nov. 8, 2022.

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