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DeSantis might be preparing a revenge for Republicans who went up against him endorsing Trump


As we all know by now, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination more than a month ago, just before the New Hampshire primary, because, as he said in a video posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, it became clear to him that the voters want to give the former president Donald Trump another chance. Following the campaign suspension, he endorsed his bitter rival Donald Trump and also urged voters to support him when the time comes, as he is “superior” to President Joe Biden. Following Super Tuesday, DeSantis even went on to openly criticize Nikki Haley, his former competitor for the Republican presidential nomination, over her reluctance to endorse the party’s presumptive nominee, Trump.

Despite this, some Florida Republicans who went up against DeSantis and endorsed Trump are “fearing” that the Florida governor might be preparing revenge. These legislators worry whether their decision will lead to Governor DeSantis vetoing their favored projects from the state’s budget, reflecting a broader concern about the political consequences of their endorsements.

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More than a dozen Florida lawmakers find themselves in a precarious situation, having openly supported Trump against Governor DeSantis, one of Florida’s most powerful governors known for his willingness to take strong actions against those he perceives as opponents. This group of legislators, who have previously navigated the political landscape to secure funding for various local projects, now fear retribution in the form of budget vetoes, which could impact projects crucial to their constituencies.

For example, GOP Rep. Paula Stark from Kissimmee, a Trump endorser, voiced her concerns but hoped that the governor would prioritize the state’s welfare over political differences. Her projects, aiming at lake cleanups and semiconductor funding, hang in the balance as DeSantis prepares to make budget decisions.

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The situation underscores a broader tension within the state GOP, reflecting the deep divisions that the presidential primary has sown among party members. Some legislators, like GOP Rep. Juan Carlos Porras of Miami, chose their sides early, fully aware of the potential fallout. Porras’s projects, including funding for pro bono clinics and the University of Miami Stroke Center, could suffer if the governor decides to “play politics” in the wake of his presidential race.

A History of Political Payback?

The fear among these lawmakers is not unfounded. Past actions by Governor DeSantis, such as the public budget vetoes in 2022 involving then-Senate President Wilton Simpson, demonstrate his willingness to use his executive power to make pointed political statements. These instances serve as stark reminders of the potential consequences of crossing the governor, especially for those like GOP Sen. Joe Gruters of Sarasota, who experienced significant vetoes last year after backing Trump.

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However, not all state lawmakers who supported Trump share the same level of concern. GOP state Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, for example, believes that her environmental funding priorities align with the constituents’ interests, potentially shielding them from any retaliatory measures by DeSantis.

The Road Ahead

As the budget review process unfolds, the attention of Florida’s political landscape is fixed on how Governor DeSantis will wield his veto power. Will he use it as a tool for political retribution, or will he rise above the fray and prioritize the state’s needs? The answers to these questions will not only affect the immediate future of various local projects but could also set the tone for political relationships and alignments in the state moving forward.

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Lawmakers like GOP Rep. Randy Fine, who has transitioned his support from DeSantis to Trump, hope for a reconciliation of sorts, urging the governor to focus on collaboration rather than continuing political hostilities. With the legislative session over and the budget decisions looming, Florida’s GOP lawmakers and their constituents await the governor’s next move with bated breath, hoping for outcomes that favor their communities over political vendettas.

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