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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

This year is an important one for Florida’s history because it is an election year surrounded by controversies and news coverage. Most of it is due to the two candidates for Governor, Ron Desantis and Charlie Christ. Both have prior experience in politics, and it is important to know their history to give an informed vote in this upcoming election.

Ron Desantis is the current Governor of Florida affiliated with the Republican party. He began his education at Dunedin High School, then attended Yale University before finishing at Harvard Law School. Prior to becoming involved in politics, Desantis served as a federal prosecutor and was eventually elected to Congress in 2012. He then became Governor of Florida in 2019. He has recently been in the news for actions like instating the new police force dedicated to pursuing election crimes, the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill and the suspension of Hillsborough Country State Attorney Andrew Warren.

The police force found around 20 people who voted illegally in 2020. Many of these arrests are controversial because the people who voted thought they were doing so legally. The new police force has funding of more than $2.6 million and many wonder if the police force is necessary.

The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, officially named HB 1557, is controversial because of the vague language throughout that some say can be exploited to broaden its effects.

Desantis’s firing of State Attorney Andrew Warren has also been seen as controversial because there is an argument over the constitutional separation of powers. Desantis suspended Warren because Warren signed a letter pledging to avoid enforcing a new law preventing abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and Warren joined a statement condemning the criminalization of transgender people and gender-affirming care. Many people state that Desantis overstepped his powers as Governor in suspending Warren.

This election is seen as important for Desantis because he is a strong contender to run for President in 2024.

Charlie Christ is currently running for Governor of Florida and was previously the 44th Governor of Florida. Christ was seated in the House of Representatives for Florida’s 13th District until Wednesday, Aug. 31 when he announced his resignation to fully focus on running for Florida Governor. Crist began college at Wake Forest University before transferring to Florida State University, then he received his law degree at Cumberland School of Law. Christ has served many roles in public service in Florida, including State Senator, Commissioner of Education, Attorney General, Governor, and Congressman. During these public service positions, Christ has faced his own controversies.

Currently running for Governor as Democrat, he was previously affiliated with the Republican party before he switched to the Democratic party in 2012. Another issue many on both sides have with Christ is his ever-changing stance on abortion rights. When Christ affiliated with the Republican party, he stated that he was ‘pro-life’ but now that he affiliates with the Democratic party, he has switched his stance.

Christ was able to beat Nikki Fried, the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, and others during the primary election for the Democratic party.

The Florida general election is on Nov. 8, which is when Christ and Desantis will go head-to-head for Governor. However, early voting will begin before this on Oct. 29 and will last until Nov. 5. However, none of this matters if you are not registered to vote; the deadline to register is Oct. 11. Check out your county’s election website to vote in your local elections and research the candidates who you’ll be voting for.

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Hi! I am a student at Florida State University. My pronouns are she/they and I am a part of the LGBTQ+ community! My first and foremost goal is to share information that I feel will benefit everyone and make sure that everyone feels heard and seen.