A top priority for Democrats nationwide in the upcoming November elections is to unseat Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and replace him with a Democrat as governor of the increasingly red-leaning state.
With an eye toward that goal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued an endorsement Monday for one of top Democratic candidates vying for the nomination to face off against DeSantis — Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), who previously served as governor of the state several terms ago, The Daily Wire reported.
Pelosi endorses Crist
Rep. Crist on Monday posted on Twitter a brief video message of endorsement recorded on his behalf by Speaker Pelosi.
“I’ve worked with Charlie the past six years in Congress and I’ve seen him fight for Floridians every single day,” Pelosi said. “He always puts people first. He’ll be a champion for women’s reproductive rights, create opportunities for small business owners, and always show empathy and compassion for our working families.”
“It’s a stark contrast to the current governor,” Pelosi added in reference to DeSantis. “Florida, you deserve better.”
I’m honored to receive the full support and endorsement of my colleague and friend, @SpeakerPelosi, as we work to build a Florida that truly works for all Floridians! pic.twitter.com/kqHgCsyA1k
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) April 18, 2022
Crist vs. Fried for chance to lose to DeSantis
The Daily Wire noted that Pelosi’s endorsement of Crist came just a few days after the other apparent top contender for the state’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, drew widespread mockery toward her flailing and increasingly desperate campaign.
Fried appeared to try and generate controversy and attention by seeming to issue a preemptive denial of an alleged “sex tape” featuring her, which was oddly out of the blue in light of the fact that there had been, up until that moment, virtually no discussion or rumors at all in regard to a Nikki Fried sex tape.
Relatedly, though, Fried has also been attacking Crist over his ambiguous and unclear position on the topic of abortion, highlighting the former governor’s prior claims to be “pro-life” — when he initially held office as a Republican — in juxtaposition with his current claims as a Democrat to be pro-choice.
Pelosi endorsement likely to have minimal positive impact, could actually backfire
Politico’s Florida Playbook reported that Crist, in response to the endorsement he had received, said, “Speaker Pelosi is a beacon of Democratic values, and her leadership uplifts the voices of all Floridians that are ready to put divisive, inflammatory rhetoric behind us and truly get to work for the people.”
The Playbook noted that while Pelosi’s endorsement would likely help Crist in the Democratic primary, he may regret having received it by the general election, as the DeSantis campaign and Republican allies more broadly will undoubtedly seize on the opportunity to closely link Crist with Pelosi, who is generally rather unpopular and disliked in the Sunshine State.
Meanwhile, a new poll released by the Florida Chamber of Congress suggests that Pelosi’s endorsement of Crist may not matter much beyond the Democratic primary, as DeSantis holds a commanding lead among Florida voters over all of his challengers, both overall and especially among the crucial independent voters unaffiliated with either major party.