Top Florida Democrat Abandons Party, Endorses DeSantis


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is one of the most popular governors in the nation, and he is so popular that he even has some Democrats on his team.

Democrat Florida Commissioner Dave Kerner, 39, who has been elected many times in Palm Beach County, a Democrat bastion, appeared on Fox News and endorsed Gov. DeSantis,” The Daily Mail reported.

“’I’ve been a registered Democrat since I registered to vote at the age of 18. I don’t really see it as going against my party. I’m a Floridian, an American first. But there’s a confluence of reasons,” he said.

“The trajectory of our state, which I spoke about in my endorsement, his support for law enforcement, his management of the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s a host of reasons why I endorsed him,” he said.

“There has been a lot of that, what I call sort of shadow support for sure. Obviously, Gov. DeSantis is doing an incredible job in Florida. He’s America’s governor, but there is a lot of support out there,” the Democrat said.

“You know, it’s an act of courage, what you did and you should be proud. And it’s not about what I did. It’s about the governor’s record of service in the state of Florida. But ultimately, it should not be an act of courage and should not be seen as an act of courage,” he said.


“We are a state on the rise, and I give a lot of credit to our governor for the trajectory of our state,” the Democrat said.

“This was not a difficult choice for me. This was not the proverbial lesser of two evils. Gov. DeSantis has demonstrated himself beyond worthy . . . and he has done so with the level of dignity, purpose and respect that is lost in the public sphere today,” he said.

“I worked with him not to just protect our physical health but our mental health, our economic health. I stood with him as we made sure our schools were open and our businesses were open,” he said.

This week the governor gave the ax to another state official.

Jose Angel Martinez, Miami-Dade County Commissioner-District 11, was terminated by the governor after he was arrested on August 11, “for felony charges of unlawful compensation for official behavior … and conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation,” second and third-degree felonies, the governor’s office said.

“Today, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 22-215 (Executive Order of Suspension), suspending Jose Angel Martinez from his position as County Commissioner for Miami-Dade County, District 11,” the governor’s office said on its website.


“On August 30, 2022, an Information was issued against Martinez for felony charges of unlawful compensation for official behavior, in violation of section 838. 016(1), Florida Statutes, and conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation, in violation of section 838.016 and section 777. 04(3), Florida Statutes. These violations constitute felonies in the second and third degree, and it is in the best interest of the residents of Miami-Dade County that Martinez be immediately suspended from the public office that he holds. The Governor will appoint a commissioner to fill the District 11 seat in the coming weeks,” it said.

This comes after Gov. DeSantis fired a district attorney who a federal court recently declined to reinstate.

U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle on Monday declined to reinstate Andrew Warren as his case against the Republican Florida governor continues, The Associated Press reported.

The former state attorney said that his firing violated his free speech and that the governor exceeded his authority.

“Mr. Warren is an elected official and his speech is protected by the first amendment,” Warren’s attorney said at a press conference after the hearing.

That is a curious argument. Would it apply to a police officer who decided he or she did not want to arrest people for certain crimes that they deemed top be not important?


The lawsuit asks that Warren be reinstated, and that Gov. DeSantis be prohibited from taking similar action against him in the future.

“We look forward to a trial where the governor can come in and explain to the court why he thinks what he did is in compliance with federal law and state law,” the suspended attorney said.

“The judge is clearly and rightfully so interested in what the governor would say in a judicial forum and the trial would be that opportunity,” his attorney said.

The trial is set to take place in four – 12 weeks.

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