Florida Democrat backs DeSantis: 'Too much is on the line'

"Every day until Nov. 8th, I will campaign for Gov. DeSantis, and on Nov. 8th, I will vote for Gov. DeSantis."

Updated: September 22, 2022 - 6:01pm

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A top Florida Democrat has come out in support of Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in his reelection bid, citing policies of his opponent with which he does not agree.

In a Tweet this week, Palm Beach County commissioner Dave Kerner, who was previously the mayor of Palm Beach County, called DeSantis "the obvious choice this election cycle." The governor faces a challenge from Democrat Charlie Crist, a former Republican governor himself.

Kerner specifically cited Crist's policies toward law enforcement as a reason for his decision. Like many of his left-wing peers, Crist has sought to reallocate funds from traditional law enforcement to mental health professionals. Republicans have decried this approach as a stealthy way to support "defund the police" efforts, according to the Epoch Times.

House Democrats earlier this week unveiled a slate of four bills to enact policing reforms. Among them, is a plan to support the use of mental health professionals in some situations. Included in the package, however, is a bill allocating federal funds to small police departments nationwide. The effort has the support of Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., some of the left's strongest advocates for significant police reform.

Kerner, meanwhile, assured law enforcement that he would work to support them and trusted DeSantis to do the same.

"Every day until Nov. 8th, I will campaign for Gov. DeSantis, and on Nov. 8th, I will vote for Gov. DeSantis," Kerner told the Police Benevolent Association at an event in West Palm Beach, per the Times. "I will not remain silent. There is too much on the line in this election."

The Florida governor graciously accepted the across-the-aisle endorsement, saying at the same event, "[w]e are focused on protecting victims and not coddling criminals, and no one knows that better than Dave, who served Florida’s communities."

"Commissioner Kerner knows first-hand the threat of the 'defund the police' movement and understands the important role that our local law enforcement officers play in keeping Florida safe," he added.

Desantis's opponent, Crist, was elected to the governor's office in 2006 as a Republican. He became an independent in 2010 after losing the Republican Senate primary to Marco Rubio, ultimately losing to him again in the general election. He then became a Democrat in 2012 and lost the 2014 gubernatorial race to now-Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. In 2016, he secured a congressional seat as a Democrat.

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