A popular Florida newspaper dealt a blow to Governor Ron DeSantis with a highly critical article urging Americans not to back his bid for the White House. Describing DeSantis as a “vengeful and ambitious man,” the article focuses on a legal case involving the Governor and a former staff member who says he fired her as a political stunt.
DeSantis suspended Monique Worrell, a Democrat, from the office of State Attorney with the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, accusing her of “neglect of duty and incompetence.” Worrell filed a lawsuit soon after her suspension in August and asked the Supreme Court to reinstate her. The hearing process is underway, and DeSantis’s attorney has argued that the court did not have the authority to grant Worrell’s request.
In an op-ed, the Orlando Sentinel said Ms. Worrell should be reinstated because its investigations into her suspension concluded that the grounds were dubious – the newspaper went on to accuse DeSantis of suspending Worrell so he could brag about getting rid of “woke” officials from Florida’s public life. “Imagine that level of pettiness, backed by the breathtaking power of the Oval Office,” the op-ed stated.
The article will be unwelcome in the DeSantis camp, particularly given his apparent lack of support in his home state. Governor DeSantis was re-elected convincingly last November, but this hasn’t been enough to win over GOP voters nationally, and his support has remained stagnant since he launched his campaign.
In Florida, Trump leads DeSantis in the Republican primaries by double digits, and some of the Governor’s own officials and Sunshine State GOP colleagues have thrown their weight behind the former President. In November, seven Florida legislators endorsed Trump – including five defections from Mr. DeSantis. State Rep. Jessica Baker, who switched from DeSantis to Trump, said world instability and economic uncertainty had prompted her to change her mind. She added that her voters want to see Mr. Trump back in the White House.