HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Signs went up early Saturday morning at 23 sites around Broward County as polls opened for early voting in the Aug. 23 primaries.
Across Miami-Dade and Broward, voters will cast ballots in over 75 different elections, ranging from local referenda, to state Senate and House races and primaries for U.S. House.
The Democratic primary for Governor ranks among the most contentious races.
Candidate Nikki Fried spoke to voters in Broward County.
“(We need) to make sure that we are electing a Democrat who has been a Democrat since she was 17 years old,” Fried said. “Somebody who has won as a Democrat statewide and has been taking on Ron DeSantis for three-and-a-half years as the only (Democratic) member of the Florida cabinet.”
Her opponent, former Governor Charlie Crist attended an event in North Miami Saturday. The Republican-turned-Democrat has largely led the primary polls. He has positioned himself as the candidate best-suited to take on DeSantis in November.
“We need a change in Florida, DeSantis has been a disaster,” Crist said.
Another acrimonious race is taking place in State Senate District 35. Current Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book is facing a challenge from ex-Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief.
The two Democratic women have traded barbs, with Sharief going to far as to sue Book over a claim made in an ad.
Book campaigned outside the polls Saturday, mentioning her priorities.
“Keeping our children safe, as our kids are going back to school next week in Broward County,” Book said. “Making sure they’re safe while they’re there. We know that we have a teacher shortage. 9,000 openings for teachers.”
Sharief says her priorities are to help people who are “hurting” right now.
“The rent is too high, gas is too high, they’re thinking about healthcare,” Sharief said. “(We need) access to health care in our Black and brown communities.”