Rep. Charlie Crist won the Democratic primary for Florida’s gubernatorial race Tuesday, defeating Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, as Crist seeks to unseat rising star Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and reclaim the governor’s office—a position Crist once held as a Republican.
The Associated Press called the Democratic primary for Crist at 8 p.m. Tuesday, one hour after polls closed in much of the state.
With more than 95% of ballots counted statewide, Crist led Fried 59.8% to 35.3%, according to results compiled by the AP.
Crist is ahead in all but three of Florida’s 67 counties and in most of its largest cities, with Fried holding a narrow lead in two Panhandle counties and in Alachua County, which is home to the University of Florida.
Crist will face off in November against DeSantis, who has led both Democratic candidates in recent general election polls. DeSantis won the 2018 gubernatorial race by a razor-thin 0.4-point margin against Andrew Gillum, but his approval rating among Floridians is above 50% in many polls, and the state has consistently elected Republican governors since the late 1990s.