Tonight, President Biden delivered a speech in Philadelphia on the ‘Battle for the Soul of the Nation.’ He discussed direct threats to our democracy and the danger extremism poses to our democratic values. In Florida, democracy’s greatest threat has proven to be Governor Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis vetoed congressional maps drawn by conservative Republican lawmakers because they were not sufficiently gerrymandered. Instead, DeSantis drew his own maps that a circuit court judge ruled violated the non-diminishment standard in Florida’s constitution. DeSantis went further than any other Florida Republican to deny Black voters in North Florida the ability to elect candidates of their choice.
DeSantis created an election police force to intimidate and suppress voter turnout. At the same time, a Republican Party of Florida county chair was found guilty in a ghost candidate scheme, and Ron DeSantis is raising money for candidates who file fraudulent petitions. DeSantis overturned the will of voters in Hillsborough County when he suspended twice-elected State Attorney Andrew Warren to insert his own state attorney, prompting the Tampa Bay Times to remind him he’s not ‘King of Florida’.
Ron DeSantis has repeatedly attacked federal law enforcement and recently went on a tour for which he recruited the most extreme, prolific election deniers he could find to campaign with. This included Kari Lake in Arizona and Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania – who was condemned by Republicans and Democrats alike for antisemitism and his close ties to extreme far-right groups. To this day, Ron DeSantis refuses to admit that Donald Trump lost the 2020 election.
“Ron DeSantis has proven time and again he’s a threat to democratic institutions who’s willing to overturn the will of voters whenever it suits him,” said Kobie Christian, Florida Democratic party spokesperson. “He has purposefully diluted Black voters’ power, ousted democratically elected leaders from office, promoted some of the country’s most prolific election deniers, and staged campaign-style events designed to intimidate voters. We need leaders who are accountable to their voters. This November, Floridians who care about protecting our freedoms need to make sure we elect Charlie Crist.”
Image Credits: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses attendees during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit on July 22 in Tampa. AP FILE PHOTO