DeSantis, Rubio, Crist campaign in Central Florida ahead of midterms

Midterm elections slated for Nov. 8

As part of his campaign trail ahead of the midterm elections, Gov. Ron DeSantis made a stop in Kissimmee to discuss his platform.

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Midterm elections are scheduled for Nov. 8 in Florida, and candidates are coming out into Central Florida for last-minute campaign pushes to get voters to the polls.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio urged voters in Solivita Thursday to show up on election day as the two took the stage at a campaign event hosted by the Republican Party of Florida.

“We’ve got work to do to make sure we continue to lead the way,” DeSantis told hundreds of his supporters in the 55+ retirement community located along the border of Republican-leaning Polk County and Democrat-leaning Osceola County. “So will you help me keep Florida free on Nov. 8?”

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DeSantis, who is being challenged by Democratic Congressman and former Republican governor of Florida Charlie Crist, touted efforts to re-open Florida during the COVID-19 pandemic and fight vaccine mandates.

“At the end of the day, a leader’s job is not to worry about protecting his own job. It’s about worrying to protect your jobs and your freedom,” DeSantis said. “And if I have to take the arrows, so be it.”

Shortly before DeSantis arrived at the event, Rubio railed on Democrat politicians and their positions on energy production, immigration and the economy.

“What we’re seeing is a surge of Americans, including many Democrats that have joined us, who want to save their country from lunacy,” Rubio said.

Rubio is trying to keep his senate seat from Democratic challenger Val Demings.

“Let’s not just win. Let’s win big,” Rubio told the crowd. “Because when you win big, you send a message. And the message is this: We love America. You will not destroy it. We want common sense back in our politics. And we want to leave for our children what our parents left for us, the greatest nation in the history of mankind.”

Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist held a campaign event in Apopka Thursday, his second stop on the campaign trail ahead of the midterms next week.

Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist focused on Central Florida Thursday with two campaign stops in the Orlando area.

Crist spoke to a crowd of about two dozen people at Lula Maes Kitchen in Apopka.

“Make sure you get that vote in, but not just you, a lot of you already have, and I appreciate that very much, but get some friends, ask everybody you see,” Crist said, encouraging people to get to the polls.

Crist also focused his message on abortion and took the opportunity to talk about property insurance while attacking his opponent, DeSantis.

“I always had your back as our governor. What about property insurance?” Crist said. “The governor had a regular session, then he had a special session and still hasn’t addressed the issue.”

His campaign then made their way to just north of downtown Orlando, where Crist spoke to volunteers at a canvassing launch event.

A spokesperson for the campaign said they had a few dozen people ready to door knock in different neighborhoods to encourage people to get to the polls.

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About the Authors:

Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter Mike DeForest has been covering Central Florida news for more than two decades.