Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is running for reelection this November… and he’s apparently encouraging Florida politicians to switch parties.
DeSantis is running against Democrat Charlie Crist, a recently retired U.S. representative who once served as Florida’s Republican governor from 2007 to 2011.
Crist changed parties and then ran against DeSantis… but another Democrat broke with his party to campaign against Crist on behalf of DeSantis.
Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner endorsed DeSantis in a scathing condemnation of Crist.
“Job number one of a Governor is to keep our residents safe. No one does that better than Governor DeSantis,” Kerner argued in a press release. “Endorsing Governor DeSantis was the obvious choice.”
In a speech, Kerner went even further. He not only endorsed DeSantis, but also vowed to campaign for him.
“Every day until November 8, I will campaign for Governor DeSantis,” Kerner said in a speech. “On November 8, I will vote for Governor DeSantis.”
Kerner took special issue with Crist’s statements about cutting police budgets.
This was not a difficult choice for me… This was not the proverbial lesser of two evils. Governor DeSantis has demonstrated himself beyond worthy of the humbling duties of this office. And he has done so with the level of dignity, purpose, and respect that is lost in the public sphere today. It may come as a shock to many of you, or at least many of my friends that as a Democratic elected officer in deep blue Palm Beach County, I’m endorsing Republican governor…
But I will not remain silent. There is too much on the line in this election… The governor’s Democratic opponent has already started talking about reallocation, which to me, by the way, is a code word for taking resources away from the men and women that protect us. It’s a code word for defunding the police. Florida is a proud state, one with a deep history. The beauty of our state is represented in the diversity of our environment and the diversity of our people. But no doubt we are a state on the rise. And I give a lot of credit to our governor for the trajectory of our state.
Crist has amassed a mixed record on funding the police.
As a congressman, Crist has presided over an increase in federal funding for the police of his district. However, he also spoken fondly of “reallocation.”
Speaking about police budgets, Crist told a community activist in May, “It isn’t defunding, you’re correct about that. It’s reallocation and making a balance to the approach.”
Kerner became county commissioner in 2016, and he has won reelection several times since then. Before that, he served as a police officer, state representative and Palm Beach County mayor. Outside politics, he maintains another career as a lawyer.
As a former police officer, Kerner is rumored to be contemplating a run for county sheriff. Current Sheriff Ric Bradshaw missed some work this year due to poor health but has reportedly returned to the office.
Kerner, a career politician with a long record, agrees with DeSantis on very little else besides policing. As a Democrat, he became known for advocating gun control in the statehouse.
He also represents Palm Beach County, a jurisdiction won by President Joe Biden in a 12-point landslide.
However, Kerner has also defended DeSantis against accusations of conspiring with Publix, a regional chain of grocery stores.
In the end, DeSantis accepted Kerner’s endorsement.
Take a look —
In Florida, we support law enforcement, reject the anti-police movement, and focus on justice for victims — not coddling criminals.
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantisFL) September 21, 2022
Endorsing Gov. @RonDeSantisFL was the obvious choice this election cycle.
Gov. DeSantis' Dem opponent has called for reallocation of resources away from law enforcement.
FL cannot afford people like Charlie Crist who wants to defund the police & make our communities less safe. pic.twitter.com/LtIy5zgw85
— Dave Kerner (@DavidMKerner) September 21, 2022
The Horn editorial team