NOTE: This is a personal column by Kartik Krishnaiyer and DOES NOT reflect the views of TFS as a publication– TFS has declined to make an endorsement in the Governor’s race.
The GOP and entrenched business interests in this state are fearful of a Charlie Crist governorship. While it’s fair for those Democratic voters solely motivated by social issues or performance art to obsesses about Crist’s years as a GOP officeholder in the state, traditional Democrats like myself who focus on issues of the environment and economics know that Charlie Crist has long been a champion for Florida’s citizenry.
Crist’s most notable opponent in next Tuesday’s Democratic Primary is Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. For those not paying attention, Fried’s behavior of late has become increasingly erratic. She’s attacked the media, and dug in on attacking Crist, as a former GOPer who is “pro-life” (a blatant lie). Meanwhile it’s become apparent her candidacy (note not her direct campaign necessarily) is bankrolled by some of the very same business and polluter interests whose goal in politics has been to maintain GOP hegemony in this state. It’s no coincidence this is happening, when you consider the number of GOPers Fried has backed openly in the past, including donating to Attorney General Ashley Moody’s campaign AFTER Donald Trump became President.
Fried’s rhetoric has bothered me from the get-go, I must admit. Coming across as entitled and attention-seeking, she’s not portrayed a serious candidate for Governor, despite somehow being elected Agriculture Commissioner in a wave Democratic year. She’s also very clearly aligned with the sugar industry which I personally cannot tolerate, though I get many Democrats, particularly newer residents to the state, simply don’t care about sugar and the Everglades. Fried also appears to be in alliance with FPL, after their unprecedented attacks on solar and efforts to steal State Senate seats for the GOP.
Below are some of the highlights of the last few days:
I concede the Democratic Party has shifted in my lifetime from an economically progressive, environmentally-conscious one to a party largely made up for elites more concerned about social issues than anything else. I can understand those folks voting for Fried, but for those of us concerned about Florida’s environment and GOP-run Oligarchy, Charlie Crist is the ONLY way forward.