DeSantis-Crist debate postponed after Hurricane Ian tears through Florida
The only scheduled debate between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and his Democratic opponent, Charlie Crist, has been postponed.
WPEC News 12, which had been set to host the debate, announced on Wednesday that it would seek to reschedule the Oct. 12 event in the wake of Hurricane Ian, which tore through the Florida peninsula last week.
Scott Livingston, the senior vice president of news at Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns WPEC News 12, said that the debate organizers wanted to allow DeSantis and Crist time to focus on storm recovery efforts.
“The top priority is the safety and well-[being] of the residents of Florida, we have decided to postpone the debate to allow for the candidates to focus on the immediate recovery efforts throughout Southwest Florida after the devastation from Hurricane Ian,” Livingston said in a statement.
WPEC News 12 said that it has extended an offer to the two campaigns to move the debate to later this month and has given the candidates several options for new dates. The debate will still take place at the Sunrise Theater in Fort Pierce, Fla., once it’s been rescheduled, the station said.
The debate may be the only opportunity for voters to see DeSantis and Crist, a former congressman and Florida governor, go toe-to-toe in person. DeSantis is still seen as the clear favorite to win the Nov. 8 election, with polling showing him with a relatively wide lead over his Democratic rival.