DeSantis, Crist square off in first and only gubernatorial debate

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Sparks flew early and often as Gov. Ron DeSantis squared off against former governor Charlie Crist in their one and only debate.


It happened inside a rowdy and raucous Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce. Both candidates tried to make this election a referendum on the last four years for very different reasons.

For an hour, DeSantis highlighted Florida’s job creation and robust budget, pointing to issues such as teacher pay and tax holidays.

READ: Early voting begins this week in Central Florida

For Crist, the night came down to two topics: abortion, and whether DeSantis is focused on being governor, or running for president.

The candidates toward the end also sparred when it came to immigration, and the use of state tax dollars to fly migrants from Texas to Massachusetts.

READ: Here are the 3 amendments on Florida ballots this election

The one and only gubernatorial debate comes with just two weeks left until the election. More than 1 million Floridians have already voted. Recent polling shows DeSantis with a double-digit lead.

READ: ‘Classic politics’: 3 proposed amendments to Florida state constitution on midterm ballot

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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