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Fort Pierce in spotlight for upcoming Governors’ Debate

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Democratic candidate Charlie Crist will debate Monday in the heart of downtown Fort Pierce at the city’s Sunrise Theater.

The theater is a short walk from Cake Lady’s shop.

Owner Staci Dunn was lured here over 10 years ago to make her unique cakes and treats.

The small-town atmosphere kept her here in St. Lucie County.

“It’s a gem,” Dunn said. “It’s like a hidden secret. People don’t know.”


Staci Dunn explains why she moved to Fort Pierce and describes what makes it so special.

Even she’s drawn attention to the historic downtown in the past, making two appearances on the Food Network in recent years.

“Particularly downtown, we rely on tourism,” Dunn said.

Former President Bill Clinton traveled to Fort Pierce with former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who made a campaign stop in 2016.

Now the city is in the spotlight again with Monday’s debate.

“Obviously, this means a lot to the City of Fort Pierce and downtown Fort Pierce,” said St. Lucie County spokesman Erick Gill.

He said the county is waiting to see what the economic impact might be, but he expects some benefits.

Erick Gill, St. Lucia County Spokesperson


Erick Gill says Fort Pierce could see more tourism after the governor’s debate.

“There will be a lot of people watching the Governor’s Race which will see from the historic Sunrise Theater in downtown Fort Pierce, and I hope this inspires some people who haven’t been to Fort Pierce in a while to come check it out,” Gill said. .

Dunn also hopes the hometown debate means they will debate topics that locals are talking about.

“The state of the economy, of course. The cost of everything has gone up, so a lot of restaurants here have had to compensate,” Dunn said. “Protect our river here, it’s a pristine ecosystem that we need to take care of.”

She is ready to welcome applicants to what she hopes feels like neutral territory.

“The funny thing is about Fort Pierce, Democrats and Republicans can agree to disagree,” Dunn said. “It’s not like a hostile environment when you start talking politics.”