MIAMI – She is the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture. He is a Florida U.S congressman who was once a Republican but is now a Democrat. They both want to be the Democratic Party’s candidate for governor.
Agriculture commission Nikki Fried is a lawyer in private practice, a government consultant, and a lobbyist. She previously practiced various forms of law, including being a public defender.
Charlie Crist, currently serving as a Democrat, is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. As a Republican, he served as Florida’s governor. He was also elected statewide, as a Republican, to be the state’s Education Commissioner and Attorney General.
So what are the top-of-mind issues for the candidate heading into the August Primary Election?
Let’s start with abortion:
“If I had my way, we would go back to where we were before the 15 week abortion ban,” said Fried.
Crist said, “On the first day of the new Crist Administration, I will sign an executive order to protect a woman’s right to choose.”
How about who should determine how sex education is taught?
Fried said, “I remember having sex ed in high school and I don’t know why that went away, but certainly that’s something that does not need to be in legislative hands.”
“I think a decision like that should be made by local officials and local parents, no brainer,” said Crist.
The two candidates also addressed gun law reform.
“I think there are a lot of common sense things that we can do together, whether it is more universal background checks, where it is background checks for ammunition, getting rid of ghost guns, closing loopholes, high capacity magazines, there are things we can do that won’t infringe on the 2nd Amendment,” said Fried.
“We need to ban assault weapons. Addressing the individual, we need background checks that actually check backgrounds more thoroughly than today,” said Crist.
Fried has campaigned on creating affordable housing and lowering homeowners’ insurance while Crist’s campaign has stressed civility, ending political animosity, and encouraging working “across the aisle.”
“We are going to run to the finish line. Do it in an honest straightforward way because we Democrats must be united in order to defeat DeSantis in November,” said Crist.
And about taking on the sitting governor.
“I know the Democrats know that they have a champion in me. A fighter that can take on Ron DeSantis and trust the things I am saying today are the things I will say tomorrow,” said Crist.
CBS4 News reached out to the other Democratic gubernatorial primary candidates, Cadance Daniel and Robert Willis, but neither responded.