Democratic County Commissioner Endorses Ron DeSantis for Second Term As Florida’s Governor

Toby Hazlewood

Switching allegiances or a decision based on issues?

On September 20, the County Commissioner for Palm Beach County, Florida - David Kerner - offered his formal backing to the Republican Governor Ron DeSantis as he seeks reelection in forthcoming midterms. The key thing to note?

Kerner is a Democrat.

Ron DeSantis was quick to share the endorsement via his personal Twitter account:

Kerner is a former police officer for the City of Alachua police force and his focus is clearly upon the preservation of law and order in the state of Florida. With that in mind, he seems intent on supporting Governor DeSantis - not necessarily out of an appreciation for his politics but because he is focused on protecting the rule of law.

Commenting on his endorsement, Kerner had this to say:

“Endorsing Governor DeSantis was the obvious choice. Job number one of a Governor is to keep our residents safe. No one does that better than Governor DeSantis.”

Separating the issues from the personalities

It seems likely that Kerner choosing to back Republican Ron DeSantis instead of Charlie Crist - the Democratic challenger - isn't likely to have gone down well with other Florida Democrats.

Recent opinion polls have suggested that a DeSantis victory may not be assured, and one recent poll showed that Crist was within 3% of DeSantis. Crist has also seen donations to his political action group increase since gaining the Democratic nomination over Nikki Fried.

The backlash from Democrats in relation to DeSantis having relocated 50 immigrants to Martha's Vineyard also resulted in increased donations to Crist's campaign.

With all that said, it doesn't look good when senior Democrats like County Commissioner Kerner choose to publicly back Ron DeSantis.

Endorsements matter

While the results of elections won't be decided by endorsements alone, they certainly help in demonstrating to voters who is backing who.

In July, the Florida Professional Firefighter's Association offered its formal backing of Governor DeSantis during a press conference. Such endorsements may carry weight with those who appreciate and value the first-responder community.

Governor DeSantis was also famously endorsed by former president Donald Trump when he was elected to the position of governor in the first place. Trump has since claimed that DeSantis only got elected because of his endorsement, but fans of the governor will likely disagree.

Whether the endorsement of DeSantis by County Commissioner David Kerner will make any difference to his reelection chances, remains to be seen. It seems more likely that it could end up with Kerner getting heat from within the Democratic party.

Do you feel like your voting choices are influenced by who has endorsed which candidate or are your decisions influenced by other things? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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