Crist sweeps through South Florida while DeSantis releases TV ad featuring wife, Casey

In a Latina for Choice rally, Charlie Crist's running mate Karla Hernandez-Mats warns about the future of women's rights.

MIAMI, Fla. – Women are central to both Florida governor campaigns with the general election only weeks away.

For Gov. Ron DeSantis, a new television ad puts First Lady Casey DeSantis front and center and for his opponent, Charlie Crist, visiting Fort Lauderdale and Little Havana on Tuesday, he says it is about women being able to make their own decisions about abortion and healthcare.

Crist told those who came to see him Tuesday that “here we are campaigning because of reality.” He continued: “Once I am back in Tallahassee, I will sign an executive order protecting our women’s right to choose,” he said to rousing applause.

Crist’s swing through South Florida comes with an effort to refocus Florida voters on one of the state’s and country’s most contentious and divisive issues — since state lawmakers passed abortion restrictions, and the governor — who had telegraphed a desire to do more — has largely stayed silent about it.

And then Hurricane Ian hit.

Now, Desantis’s public focus is on emergency recovery and it has put him on the news daily statewide with successes to share.

And, with his fundraising bolstered by national profile, DeSantis put on the air what by all accounts is his most impactful ad yet. His wife, Casey DeSantis, talks about her husband and, very personally, recounts how he cared for her when last year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. “He was there to pick me up off of the ground when I literally could not stand,” she says.

Crist says he is unfazed by the turn on the campaign trail and remains steadfast.

“It’s about freedom for women” promising to carry that message all the way through his campaign.

(See Ron DeSantis’s latest television ad)

About the Authors:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.