Nov. 8, 2022 Governor














x x





















+Ron DeSantis/Jeanette Nuñez (R) i
Charlie Crist/Karla Hernández-Mats (D) 3,106,313
Jackie Gimenez/Kyle Gibson (NPA) 31,577
Hector Roos/Jerry Rorabaugh (L)


Voter Registration: 14,503,978.  Turnout: 7,796,916.
Plurality: 1,507,897 votes (19.40 percentage points)

 FL Secretary of State

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) won a second term by an unexpectedly wide margin (1, 2), defeating U.S. Rep. and former Gov. Charlie Crist (D) as well as Hector Roos (L), and Carmen Jackie Gimenez (NPA). 

DeSantis, 44, was widely seen as a possible 2024 presidential candidate.  He is known for his brash, confrontational style and boasts that Florida "is the freest state in these United States" and "is leading on issue after issue (+)." 

DeSantis has shown a penchant for gaining national attention with sometimes over-the-top actions. 
He was a leading critic of Dr. Anthony Fauci and COVID restrictions, has readily engaged in culture wars on subjects such as "Don't Say Gay" legislation and the "Stop Woke Act."  In April 2022 he secured passage of legislation creating an Office of Election Crimes and Security and providing additional funding for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.  Four months later, on Aug. 18, with great fanfare he announced the arrest of 20 "elections criminals," but questions were quickly raised about the legitimacy of the charges against them. 
On Sept. 14, DeSantis used Florida taxpayer dollars to send two charter planes with about 50 undocumented Venezuelan migrants from San Antonio, TX to Martha's Vineyard in order to highlight his dissatisfaction with the Biden administration's border security policies. 

DeSantis has also demonstrated
great fundraising prowess.  His
his political committees raised over $200 million in the cycle, breaking the record for a gubernatorial candidate. 
This gave DeSantis a huge financial edge over Crist.  Crist did have support from labor and other groups.  For example, on the ground there was Florida For All, a partnership of progressive groups.  In July the Florida Communications and Research Hub, a project of Florida Watch and Progress Florida, launched "DeSantis Watch."

Under DeSantis, Republicans in Oct. 2021 for the first time gained a registration advantage in the state (>).  As of Oct. 11, 2022 (book closing), of 14.5 million registered voters, Republicans comprised 36.4%, Democrats 34.3% and No Party Affiliation 27.5%.  DeSantis also pushed through an aggressive redistricting plan that helped cement Republicans' advantage (>).
The general election began with DeSantis making news for the success of his endorsements in many school board races in the Aug. 23 primary, but also getting a fair bit of ridicule for a "America's Top Gov," a "Top Gun" inspired campaign video released on the eve of the primary in which he took on corporate media
(>).  DeSantis was much in the news in late September as Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida on Sept. 28.  On Nov. 4 the DeSantis campaign came out with an over-the-top campaign ad in which the announcer declared that on the eighth day of Creation, "God made a fighter" (DeSantis).

On the Democratic side, Crist announced Karla Hern
ández-Mats, president of United Teachers of Dade since 2016 and a former special needs teacher, as his running mate on Aug. 26 (>).  Crist resigned from Congress effective Aug. 31 to focus on his gubernatorial campaign.

Desantis and Crist debated at Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce, hosted by CBS station WPEC, on Oct. 24 (>); the event had originally been scheduled for Oct. 12 but was postponed following Hurricane Ian.

According to AdImpact, more than $72.5 million was spent on advertising in the Florida governor's race, and the DeSantis side dominated the airwaves.

As during the primary, DeSantis found time to campaign for several candidates around the country, appearing at Turning Point Action rallies
with gubernatorial nominee Derek Schmidt in Olathe, KS (Sept. 18) and with Sen. Ron Johnson and gubernatorial nominee Tim Michels in Green Bay, WI (Sept. 18), as well as at an Oct. 29 rally with Lee Zeldin on Long Island, New York (>).

Biden campaigned for Crist and Senate candidate Val Demings at Florida Memorial University, a historically black university in Miami Gardens (north-central Miami-Dade County), on Nov. 1 (>).  Trump held a GOTV rally with Rubio at Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition in Miami on Nov. 6 (>), but DeSantis—or as Trump dubbed him "Ron DeSanctimonius"— campaigned elsewhere.

After the midterms Trump received considerable blame for the GOP's sub-par showing, while DeSantis' strong showing made him an early favorite for 2024.  DeSantis, touting the "Florida blueprint," is in a position similar to that enjoyed by then-Gov. George W. Bush (TX) following his strong result in the 1998 midterm elections.  However, DeSantis presents a very different tone and temperament than Bush.

Aug. 23 Primaries
DeSantis officially launched his re-election campaign on Nov. 8, 2021. 
Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez continues as his running mate. Through April 2022 DeSantis had raised $100 million.  Also in April DeSantis released a campaign theme song, "Sweet Florida " by Johnny and Donnie Van Zant (>).  On Aug. 3 he released his first ad "Dear Governor," featuring excerpts from letters written to him (>).  DeSantis was unopposed in the Aug. 23 primary, and was thus free to make national appearances.  These included Turning Point Action's Unite and Win rally with Kari Lake and Blake Masters in Phoenix on Aug. 14 (>), a rally with gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti and U.S. Rep. Yvette Harrell in Carlsbad on Aug. 14, and Turning Point Action rallies on Aug. 19 with Doug Mastriano in Pittsburgh (>) and J.D. Vance in Liberty Township (>).

Crist and
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried were the leading candidates running n the Aug. 23 Democratic primary.  Crist, the Democratic congressman from St. Petersburg, is well known to Florida voters.  He served as the Republican governor from 2007 to 2011, ran as a non-party affiliated candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010, and as a Democrat against Rick Scott for U.S. Senate in 2014.  He announced his campaign in St. Petersburg on May 4, 2021 (>).  Fried, elected Agriculture Commissioner in 2018 and "the only Democrat to win Florida since Obama in 2012," announced on June 1, 2021 (>).  Another leading candidate, State Sen. Annette Taddeo, announced on Oct. 20, 2021 (>), but ended her campaign on June 6 to run for Congress.  Of 1.5 million votes tallied in the Democratic primary, Crist won 59.7%, Fried 35.4% and two others took the remainder.

Campaign Managers:
Ron DeSantis:  Generra Peck

President of P2/Pathway Public Affairs.  Previously vice president for infrastructure and economic development at McGuireWoods Consulting LLC.  Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs & Policy Development, Assistant Director of Legislative Affairs & Strategic Initiatives, and Special Assistant for Commerce and Trade to  Gov. Bob McDonnell (VA).  Worked on McDonnell's campaign for governor in 2009.  M.B.A. from University of Virginia Darden School of Business, 2016; B.S./B.A. in business administration/marketing from University of Richmond, 2009. 
Charlie Crist:  Sydney Throop [from Oct. 19, 2022, previously deputy campaign manager]
Campaign manager on Crist's 2020 re-election.  Mass. state director, Iowa deputy organizing director, outreach coordinator on Pete for America.
  Iowa regional organizer for Reason to Believe PAC (Deval Patrick) from Sept. 2018.  Field director (May-Sept. 2018) and regional organizer (Jan.-April 2018) for Committee to Elect Josh Zakim (MA).  Organizing director (May 2017-Jan. 2018) and community organizer (June 2016-May 2017) at Fair Shot For All (Boston).  Event organizer for Food Tank, Feb.-April 2017.  B.S. in public relations, communication and media studies from Boston University, 2016.

Austin Durrer
[left the campaign Oct. 19, 2022, after arrest in domestic violence case]
Chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Crist from Dec. 2016.  Chief of staff and data coalitions director in the Economics & Statistics Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce, May 2014-Dec. 2016.  Chief of staff (July 2009-May 2014), communications director/deputy chief of staff (July 2007-June 2009), press secretary (Mar. 2005-June 2007), legislative assistant (Mar. 2003-Feb. 2005), legislative correspondent (June 2002-Feb. 2003) and staff assistant (Aug. 2001-May 2002) to U.S. Rep. James Moran (VA).  M.B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University-Carey Business School, 2009; bachelor's degree in economics and political science from UNC at Chapel Hill, 2001.

See also:
Florida Politics: 2022.

Jacob Ogles.  "More than $50M spent on Ron DeSantis ads over campaign, with Charlie Crist stepping up spending in final weeks."  Florida Politics, Nov. 7, 2022.

Matt Dixon.  "'De facto frontrunner': DeSantis' $200 million haul positions him for 2024 run."  Politico, Nov. 3, 2022.

Steve Peoples, Adriana Gomez Licon and Brendan Farrington.  "A swing state no more? GOP confidence grows in Florida."  AP, Oct. 24, 2022.

Taylor Giorno and Jorja Siemons.  "Gov. Ron DeSantis breaks gubernatorial fundraising record."  Open Secrets, Sept. 16, 2022.

Matt Flegenheimer.  "Is Ron DeSantis the Future of the Republican Party?"  New York Times Magazine, Sept. 13, 2022.

Colleen Wright.  "Why is Charlie Crist's running mate drawing fire from Republicans."  Tampa Bay Times, Aug. 31, 2022.

Asawin Suebsaeng.  "Trump Family Dunks on DeSantis: You're 'Stealing' Our Bit!"  Rolling Stone, Aug. 28, 2022.

Taylor Giorno.  "Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' war chest dwarfs fundraising by Democratic gubernatorial challenger Rep. Charlie Crist."  Open Secrets, Aug. 26, 2022.

Andrew Atterbury.  "Most DeSantis-endorsed school board candidates win their primaries."  Politico, Aug. 23, 2022.

Taylor Giorno. "Gov. Ron DeSantis on pace to break gubernatorial fundraising record."  Open Secrets, Aug. 5, 2022.

Dexter Filkins.  "Can Ron DeSantis displace Donald Trump as the G.O.P.'s combatant-in-chief?"  New Yorker, June 20, 2022.

Zac Anderson.  "Ultra-rich flock to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis amid presidential talk."  USA Today, May 25, 2022.

Amber Phillips.  "How Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wages his culture wars."  Washington Post, Apr. 28, 2022.

Steve Contorno.  "DeSantis tops $100 million for Florida reelection race – and sends signal to 2024 Republican field."  CNN, Apr. 8, 2022.

Ana Ceballos."DeSantis' poltical team ramps up as his national star rises."  Tampa Bay Times, Aug. 5, 2021.