DeSantis and Crist Will Debate

The first and only debate between Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a Republican, and Charlie Crist, his Democratic challenger, will go forward on Monday as in-person early voting begins in some of the state’s biggest counties.

The debate, initially scheduled for Oct. 12, was postponed because of Hurricane Ian, a destructive Category 4 storm that struck Southwest Florida on Sept. 28, killing more than 100 people. The hurricane led Mr. DeSantis to ease election rules for the three hardest-hit counties — Lee, Charlotte and Sarasota — to allow large polling places, extend early voting and permit voters to request that mail-in ballots be sent to different addresses from the one kept on file, actions that contrasted with his overall push for more rigid voting policies in Florida.

Mr. DeSantis, whose national profile has turned him into a 2024 Republican presidential contender in waiting, has far out-raised and outspent Mr. Crist in television ads. Public opinion polls have consistently showed Mr. DeSantis leading the race.

Mr. Crist, a former governor and U.S. lawmaker, has cast his opponent as a divisive culture warrior and campaigned hard against the 15-week abortion ban that Mr. DeSantis signed into law in April. But he has struggled to shake up the contest in his favor.

The debate, in Fort Pierce, Fla., is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Eastern. It will be live streamed on C-SPAN. New York Times reporters will offer live updates and analysis.

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