The Florida Democrat ruffles feathers with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ surprise endorsement

Florida Democrat Dave Kerner announced this week that he supports Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

what are the details

Despite being a lifelong Democrat and having held political office as a Democrat, Kerner told Floridians Tuesday that he will endorse DeSantis for governor this November over Democrat Charlie Crist.

“We are an emerging state and I give our governor much credit for the development of our state,” said Kerner, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

“I’ve never been committed to the rigid and disingenuous confines of party politics,” he said. “This was not a difficult decision for me. This was not the proverbial lesser of two evils. Governor DeSantis has shown himself more than worthy of the humiliating duties of his office. And he did so with a level of dignity, purpose and respect that is lost in public today.”

Kerner — who is currently Palm Beach County commissioner and has served at the Florida House — explained Friday exactly why DeSantis won his endorsement.

“Our state’s trajectory … its support for law enforcement, its management of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kerner said on Fox News. “There are a lot of reasons why I supported him.”

According to Kerner, there is a lot of “shadow support” for DeSantis among those who cannot publicly support DeSantis for fear of political alienation.

How was the reaction?

Kerner’s surprise approval apparently sent shockwaves through the ranks of South Florida Democrats.

“The reaction I’m hearing from ordinary Democrats is that this is outrageous,” said Terrie Rizzo, Palm Beach County Democratic Party Chairwoman. “I’m totally shocked by Dave Kerner and incredibly disappointed – it’s not a strong word – that Dave Kerner was able to endorse Gov. Ron DeSantis.”

Meanwhile, DeSantis welcomed Kerner’s endorsement.

“Florida is a law and order state because we put the safety of Floridians first and we support law enforcement and oppose the anti-police movement of the left,” he said said in an opinion.

“We are focused on protecting victims and not coddling criminals, and nobody knows that better than Dave, who has ministered to Florida’s communities,” the statement added. “Commissioner Kerner knows firsthand the threat posed by the Defund the Police movement and understands the important role our local law enforcement officers play in keeping Florida safe.” The Florida Democrat ruffles feathers with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ surprise endorsement

Laura Coffey

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