Florida gubernatorial candidates make their final pitches to Northeast Florida voters

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Both gubernatorial candidates made their final stops in Northeast Florida Friday.

Democrat Charlie Crist held four events in Duval, and Republican incumbent Ron DeSantis held a rally in Clay County.


Crist asked students to get out and vote and urge their parents to vote too at his first stop of the day.

“It’s an important election to your future,” said Crist.

Crist has ground to make up in Duval.

Read: Record number of women candidates running for state and federal office in 2022 midterms

Republicans have a 4,000-vote lead in the county, but Crist says he has faith.

“I don’t think there’s any question about it. I think Duval will be blue. I know how strong the local party is here, the great candidates that you have here,” said Crist.

DeSantis spent the day in neighboring Clay County, joined by local state lawmakers and Republican candidates.

“Will you help me send a tired, worn out, old donkey out to pasture once and for all?” DeSantis said at the start of his hourlong speech.

DeSantis holds a double-digit lead in the polls, and during his speech he staunchly defended his administration’s policies throughout his first term.

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“We’ve been on the forefront protecting people’s rights, keeping people working, protecting our kids in schools and I think you see a huge groundswell of support out there to recognize that leadership,” said DeSantis.

But in his final pitch to voters, Crist called those same policies divisive and argued they target women and minorities.

“Let’s have a true free Florida for women, for people of color, for people who want to simply vote. If that’s what you want Charlie Crist is your candidate,” said Crist.

Read: Election 2022: What are the midterms, who is on the ballot and why are they important?

However, DeSantis holds it’s his agenda that promotes freedom, arguing people have voted with their feet.

“You saw people being willing to pick up their entire life from as far away a Seattle, Washington and come all the way across a continent for a chance at a better life and that’s just because we did it right and we’ve kept the state free,” said DeSantis.

Nearly 4 million Floridians had already voted with the ballots as of midday Friday.

Republicans hold a 255,000 vote lead over Democrats.

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We’ll know if that lead holds when polls close Tuesday.

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