Gov. DeSantis and former Gov. Crist debate

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
Governor DeSantis and former Governor Crist debate. (CREDIT: WPEC/ Sinclair)

Just over two weeks away from election day, Governor Ron DeSantis and Congressman Charlie Crist face off in Florida’s only Gubernatorial Debate.

DeSantis is fighting for a second term against former Governor Crist who’s trying to unseat him.

DeSantis blamed the inflation issues on President Biden and compared Crist’s policies to his.

Crist responded by saying DeSantis needs to focus on Florida’s economy and not as much on the federal government.

When discussing parental rights in the education bill, which critics call the ‘Don’t say gay’ bill, Crist stressed the importance of teaching science and history in schools and avoiding the cultural and political wars that surround them.

The governor doubled down on his belief that parental rights in the education bill is a way to defend parents and students saying it’s inappropriate to discuss sexuality and gender identity with young students.

Of course, Southwest Florida was front and center in the midst of Hurricane Ian’s recovery, with DeSantis touting the repairs to the Sanibel Causeway Pine Island Bridge.

However, Crist criticized the governor’s handling of evacuations leading up to the storm.

“What needs to be addressed is how we treat a storm before it makes landfall,” Crist said. “And unfortunately Governor DeSantis failed on this. He was AWOL for almost 24 hours. Didn’t encourage Lee County to evacuate. And as a result 100 people lose their lives.”

“These local communities did mobilize. And if you looked at that track, everyone was focusing on Tampa Bay the Monday night before the storm. All the folks in Southwest Florida were activated, Lee County did issue evacuations in some,” DeSantis said. “You had a number of residents who had been through a lot of hurricanes. Our message was listen to your locals, it’s ultimately a local decision, they do the shelters. But I stand by every one of our local counties. They stood up, they worked hard, and they made the best decision they could with the information they had.”

It was a lot of back and forth all night, but there was one singular thing both candidates agreed on. Both said that the Parkland shooter, Nikolas Cruz, should have gotten the death penalty.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.