Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will get a shot at reclaiming his old office after cruising to victory over state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.
Crist, who opted to forgo a fourth term in Congress to run for his old office, will face off against Republican incumbent Ron DeSantis in November.
The Associated Press called the race for Crist at around 8 p.m. with about 1.2 million votes counted. The 66-year-old had received 59.8% of the vote with almost 85% of the expected ballots cast, comfortably outpacking Fried’s 35.3%
Crist will be considered a clear underdog against DeSantis, who will be seeking a second term and is considered by many to be a contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
Crist won the Florida governorship in 2006 as a Republican and served a single term from 2007 to 2011.
He declined to seek re-election and instead ran for Senate, losing to Marco Rubio in the 2010 Republican primary.
Crist officially joined the Democratic Party in 2012 and launched another bid for governor in 2014, losing to Repubican Rick Scott, before winning a House seat in 2016.
Hoping to shed her underdog status, Fried hammered away at both DeSantis and Crist during the campaign and highlighted her commitment to abortion rights.