[Opinion] Neither candidate for the FL gubernatorial election is fit to run


Tribune News Service

From left to right: Sen. Marco Rubio, U.S Rep. Val Demings, Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. (Photo Courtesy of Tribune News Service.)

Javier Otero, Podcast Editor

With the midterm elections coming up in Florida, many people are wondering who they should vote for and which candidate should take up the role of governor. The two candidates for the 2022 gubernatorial race are incumbent Governor Ron DeSantis for the Republican party and former Governor Charlie Crist who is running for the Democrats.

Who wins will be decided in the gubernatorial race, with voting taking place from Oct. 11 until election day later this year on Nov. 8.

However, both governors have a rocky history when it comes to their policies. It becomes a question if either of them should run for governor at all. With the recent debate, many more things have become clear about these candidates. Throughout the race, they have outlined what they believe in and how they would lead Florida if they won.

DeSantis has become a controversial figure in recent years, with both the acts he has signed into law and with his behavior as a candidate. With bills such as the Stop WOKE Act and the “Don’t Say Gay” law and behavior such as mocking his political opponents, it’s no wonder he’s so controversial.

With former President Donald Trump leaving office and his future in the political sphere unclear, many Republicans want DeSantis to run for president. If DeSantis did in fact run for the presidency, this would cause issues in Florida; governors serve four year terms. If DeSantis did choose to run for president in 2024 it could in some ways be interpreted as DeSantis abandoning Florida. When asked in the gubernatorial debate on Oct. 25, Crist asked DeSantis if he would serve a full four year governorship in Florida.

“I know that Charlie [Crist]’s interested in talking about 2024 and [President] Joe Biden, but I just want to make things very, very clear,” DeSantis said during the debate. “The only worn out old donkey I’m looking to put out of the pasture is Charlie Crist.”

Charlie Crist served as governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011. In this time, he supported laws banning same-sex marriage and same-sex couple adoptions.

He also announced executive orders that were meant to reduce greenhouse emissions in Florida. This conflicts with what he said about oil, as he was against offshore drilling until 2008. He reversed this position when oil prices were at their highest in Florida.

Crist has also been quite vague when it comes to some of his other policies. He has gone back and forth on the issue of abortion over the years, but is currently is pro-choice.

Like his opponent, some of DeSantis’s policies are highly controversial. Most of the policies he has signed so far have met a lot of criticism from many Democrats in Florida.

On April 22, DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education Act, also referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” Law by the opponents of the bill. This act is one of the most controversial pieces of legislation that has been passed in Florida with what it entails for school education. It prevents what lessons teachers are able to teach, especially about race and topics surrounding the LGBTQ+ community.

The Stop WOKE Act legislation, signed by DeSantis, has also split Florida with how there are more cases of government interference in the classroom. Recently, the government has been stepping in a lot on the case of education with banning books and banning certain lessons in school, usually lessons about the LGBTQ+ community. This has also angered many teachers, who are unable to teach certain materials to their students to help them understand certain concepts. According to a lawsuit filed with the Legal Defense Fund, Black educators and students feel that this bill stifles their ability to talk freely about race and issues such as racism.

While Crist was Governor, he switched over to the independent party. After he did this, he ran for the U.S. Senate against Rubio and lost with 29.7 percent of the vote to Rubio’s 49.8 percent. He then ran as a Democratic Candidate in 2013 for the seat of Governor and lost against former Republican Gov. Rick Scott which makes him the only Florida candidate to lose a statewide general election as a Republican, Democrat and an Independent.

Both candidates have had a rough track record showing that they may not be the best candidates for Florida.