Attention now turn to the expensive task of unseating Ron DeSantis.
Charlie Crist raised more than $1 million in his first 24 hours as the official Democratic nominee for Governor.
The St. Petersburg Democrat’s campaign announced the seven-figure haul to Florida Politics. The burst in funding came a day after Crist won 60% of the vote in the Aug. 23 Democratic Primary against Nikki Fried.
“There have been a lot of questions on whether Democrats can compete with Ron DeSantis — today makes it clear we can,” said Austin Durrer, Crist’s Campaign Manager. “Florida will be a marquee battleground state this November. Charlie Crist can and will stop Ron DeSantis right here, right now.”
More than 80% of donations came from first-time donors, mostly small donors, with the average donation around $47.
Undoubtedly, Crist will need resources as he faces DeSantis, the Republican incumbent on pace to shatter fundraising records and who did not face any Primary opposition in August. Crist heavily outraised Fried, but spent much of that on the way to securing the Democratic nomination.
The Democrat on Wednesday released a nearly two-minute video laying out the themes and message of his General Election campaign. The Governor will continue his “Florida For All” message and promote inclusiveness, while contrasting his positions to some of DeSantis’ most divisive positions.
With a Democratic nominee now clear, Crist will rally support from many Democratic donors and voters who sat out the competitive Primary. Early on, he also faced former running mate Annette Taddeo in the Primary but she left to run for Congress and endorsed Crist in the race.
Crist is expected to choose a running mate in the near future. After a sometimes negative Democratic Primary, Crist also needs to pull the Democratic voter base together again and turn the focus again on defeating DeSantis.
The General Election is scheduled for Nov. 8.