Charlie Crist and Nikki Fried discuss Florida, DeSantis plan – Bay News 9

They share a common mission — removing Ron DeSantis from the Florida Governor’s Mansion — but don’t agree on who’s best to take on the task in November. 

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat, has repeatedly gone after the governor over his policies and personality.

Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist, a former Republican governor, points to his decades of public service in Florida as the requisite for his run.

Now, with the Primary Election just weeks away, both candidates sit down with Spectrum News, Orlando Sentinel and Tampa Bay Times to discuss the issues facing our state and our country.

7 p.m. Wednesday

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Rep. Charlie Crist arrives for a classified briefing on Russian sanctions with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Jan. 10, 2019 in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Rep. Charlie Crist arrives for a classified briefing on Russian sanctions with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Jan. 10, 2019 in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

A sitting member of Congress. A Democrat. A former Republican Governor and former independent candidate for the U.S. Senate. 

Across offices, Charlie Crist has served the people in Florida for decades and maintains his core principles haven’t changed with his party affiliation. His campaign website points to his vote against “anti-choice legislation in the 1990’s as a State Senator, and vetoing a restrictive measure as Governor.”

Crist’s other top priorities include “Five steps he would immediately take to make it easier to vote,” creating an Office for New Floridians and tackling the rising costs of housing, insurance and utilities.

Once the state’s education commissioner, Crist says he’ll “declare a teacher shortage emergency,” expand voluntary pre-K and improve school safety.

On the environment, Crist proposes a “million solar roofs plan” to further incentivize the expansion of solar power to more Florida homes and businesses.

Nikki Fried is sworn in as Florida Commissioner of Agriculture by Judge Kevin Emas on Jan. 8, 2019 in Tallahassee. (Lynne Sladky/AP)

Nikki Fried is sworn in as Florida Commissioner of Agriculture by Judge Kevin Emas on Jan. 8, 2019 in Tallahassee. (Lynne Sladky/AP)

A private attorney-turned public defender who began her path into politics as a government affairs advocate for the marijuana industry, Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried describes herself as a “fresh voice in Tallahassee.”

And, as the only Democrat elected to statewide office in 2018, she has often been the voice of opposition. Her Twitter posts routinely feature sharp critiques of Florida’s Republican governor.

Fried says “Florida’s thriving economy has become disconnected from the individuals it is meant to serve.”

On policy, she says she’ll “declare a housing state of emergency” and “fight to repeal the state law that prohibits local governments from imposing rent control.”

Her plan for handling health care features the expansion of Medicaid, developing retention programs for health care workers and broadening access to telehealth.

Fried supports “full legalization of marijuana in Florida” and funding drug treatment through marijuana taxes.

7 p.m. Wednesday

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