Gubernatorial candidates prioritize a stop in Gainesville

Gubernatorial candidates prioritize a stop in Gainesville
Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 6:24 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Gainesville is on the gubernatorial campaign trail as three candidates including Governor Ron DeSantis visited within the last week.

The annual Lawton Chiles gala organized by the Alachua County Democratic Party hosted party candidates for Gubernatorial and US Senate races this year.

RELATED STORY: Democrats in Alachua County hosted their annual gala to prepare for mid-term elections

“My politics and my career actually started here in Gainesville,” said Candidate and Agriculture Commissioner Nikkie Fried who attended the gala. In her speech, she reminded voters about her Alachua County ties as an alumnus of the University of Florida and leading the felony division of the Alachua County Public Defender’s office.

Fried is the highest-ranking elected Democrat state-wide and said there are issues in the Capital City to address.

“We have a healthcare system that’s falling apart, we have an economy that’s not working for everybody in our state and we have an environment that has never been a priority for any of the elected leaders here in the state of Florida,” said Fried. “We have to do better and the people of our state are ready for that change.”

U.S. Representative Charlie Crist visited Gainesville in January and didn’t attend the gala. Newly elected City Commissioner Cynthia Chestnut spoke on his behalf.

“Charlie Crist is who we need to lead Florida.”

DeSantis spent time in Gainesville in the same week as the gala talk about funding trade schools to expand the workforce.

RELATED STORY: DeSantis announces $89 million investment for workforce education in Gainesville today

State Senator Annette Taddeo attended the gala to say her gubernatorial campaign resembles the late Governor Lawton Chiles’ approach.

“And every Floridian should be represented by their Governor,” added Taddeo.

Annette Taddeo in Alachua County
Annette Taddeo in Alachua County

Taddeo represents parts of Miami as the District 40 senator and was once Crist’s running mate in the 2014 gubernatorial race. She’s the first elected Latina Democrat in State Senate history.

“We also have an issue with healthcare,” added Taddeo. “A lot of people still don’t have healthcare and we need to expand Medicaid and I know that with a Democratic Governor and me as Governor as the sponsor of the bill every single year. We would expand Medicaid and not leave all this money on the table.”

Ten Democrats are fighting for the primary spot in late August.

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