WATCH: Democratic official endorses DeSantis, says ‘there is too much on the line’
By Julia Johnson
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) received the endorsement of a longtime Democrat and Palm Beach County official on Tuesday, saying that “there is too much on the line” ahead of the November gubernatorial election.
Dave Kerner is the county’s Democratic commissioner, as well as the former two-term mayor. He is also a former City of Alachua law enforcement officer and served in Florida’s House of Representatives as the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee for two terms.
“Endorsing Gov. @RonDeSantisFL was the obvious choice this election cycle. Gov. DeSantis’ Dem opponent has called for reallocation of resources away from law enforcement. FL cannot afford people like Charlie Crist who wants to defund the police & make our communities less safe,” Kerner tweeted.
“Florida is a law-and-order state because we put the safety of Floridians first and we stand up for law enforcement and reject the Left’s anti-police movement,” DeSantis said. “We 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.”
“Every day until Nov. 8th, I will campaign for Gov. DeSantis, and on Nov. 8th, I will vote for Gov. DeSantis,” Kerner told the crowd during a press conference at the Police Benevolent Association in West Palm Beach.
“This was not the proverbial lesser of two evils,” he said while acknowledging that some may be shocked by his decision. “Gov. DeSantis has demonstrated himself beyond worthy of the humbling duties of this office.”
“I will not remain silent. There is too much on the line in this election,” the official said.
Kerner further said that his decision was driven by DeSantis’s opponent, Democratic candidate Charlie Crist, who said he plans to reallocate funds or defund the police.
New polling showed DeSantis was 8 percentage points ahead of former President Donald Trump among Florida Republicans in a hypothetical 2024 primary matchup Wednesday, which is a reversal from a previous poll that had Trump leading DeSantis by a similar margin. DeSantis also performed better against President Joe Biden, 52%-44%. Trump only leads Biden by 3 points in the poll.