Florida Democrats dodged a major bullet in the primary. But they dodged that bullet because the party’s primary voters made an informed, smart and tactical choice. Charlie Crist resounding win is good news for Florida.
Let’s face it, Florida’s GOP and allied big business, polluter and utility elements attempted to BUY the Democratic primary for a candidate they saw as either weaker or more willing to “play ball” with the very interests that are destroying this state.
I am not pretending Charlie Crist, a longtime GOP officeholder is perfect – but in the DeSantis era, where autocracy reigns , a former moderate GOPer is FAR preferable to someone who may have in fact represented the party “taking a knee” so-to-speak or at the very least compromising our values in the November campaign. Crist believes in democracy, a normalized process of governing and has shown even as a GOPer his willingness to stand up to the state’s insurance & utility companies and probably has the best record on the Everglades of any Governor since Bob Graham. Even as a GOPer he was dialed-in on providing Floridians with more mass transit options and mitigating Climate Change. His party switch, now almost a decade in the rear-view mirror, was logical given the direction the GOP was drifting and his own ideology.
Nikki Fried’s campaign relied heavily on performance art to throw a veil over the reality which is that she is former corporate lobbyist who offers very little in terms of consistent policy values. This reality is further augmented by her candidacy being funded by the worst of Florida’s special interests – Big Sugar, FPL and Associated Industries of Florida (AIF). Additionally, Fried has a history of donating to GOP candidates even AFTER Trump was elected President.
She threatened to sue the Biden Administration, effectively on many occasions appeared anti-mask, and failed to answer real questions about her recent donations to GOPers, as well as her efforts in walking precincts and campaigning for some of the worst GOPers in the state. She also made numerous unforced errors like filling a financial disclosure report that omitted six figures worth of income.
If Fried had been nominated, it world have been very hard for some of us who have been around in better days or even worse days where we felt we were fighting for something we believed in to reconcile the new reality. Ultimately, voting for the lesser evil would have been the only option, But thankfully Democrats throughout the state got the message, and nominated the candidate that not only best represents our values, but isn’t potentially playing at least partially, for the other team.
Onward we go to November!