Democratic gubernatorial candidates Charlie Crist and Nikki Fried battle it out in Miami debate
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Democratic gubernatorial candidates Charlie Crist and Nikki Fried finally went head to head in Miami Thursday night in their only scheduled debate before the Aug. 23 primary.
Although these two candidates reside on the same side of the aisle and agreed on most topics, their track records and the way they will confront certain issues is where they differ.
Thursday’s debate touched on multiple hot-button issues, including their stance on abortion.
Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Fried accused Rep. Crist of not always being pro-choice and explained what she would do in office.
”I will make sure that on day one we are declaring a state of emergency that allows me to make sure that money is not coming down for our state attorneys to persecute doctors or women,” said Fried. “We have to fight now. We have to make sure our rights are being protected.”
Crist denied Fried’s accusations and touted his record during his one term as governor and the approval he currently has as a congressman.
”As your governor, Charlie Crist vetoed an anti-abortion bill that was sent to me by the Republican legislature. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again,” exclaimed Crist. “And as a member of Congress, I have a 100% rating by Planned Parenthood and NARAL.”
Gun violence was another big issue on the docket. Both challenged their opponent on their commitment to gun control but agreed that reform needs to occur.
”What I have done is called for the banning of assault weapons for a very long time, and in addition to that, make sure we have background checks that actually check backgrounds,” said Crist. “It’s good that we have red flag laws in Florida, but we need them nationwide.”
Fried echoed that same sentiment.
”So I will support making sure not only that we’re passing laws to make sure there are no ghost guns, but also making sure that we create new safety measures and mechanisms for safe storage of our guns,” said Fried. “And without a doubt, we must get those assault weapons off our streets.”
The two also took on the affordable housing crisis.
”That is a promise to make sure that more money is going back into our affordable trust fund, to be expanding the amount of homes that are being built here in the state of Florida,” Fried promised.
”We need to try to bring down property insurance rates, which are skyrocketing right now under this governor,” Crist said.
Both candidates say they’re confident they can defeat Gov. Ron DeSantis in November and made their stances clear Thursday night. They hope their pleas appeal to voters come primary day on Aug. 23.
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