From the campaign trail…
By Frank Torres/Apopka Voice Contributor
Republican leaders from all over the state were in Downtown Orlando on Thursday morning, to rally behind the slate of statewide GOP candidates ahead of what are expected to be competitive November elections.
Florida Governor Rick Scott led the rally and pulled no punches when talking about their Democratic counterparts, including his opponent Senator Bill Nelson, who Scott is challenging for re-election this year. The Governor emphasized his work in public education during his time in office during his remarks.
“Make no mistake about it. If you destroy Florida’s economy with higher taxes and spending, you will be destroying public education at the same time.” said Scott “I would like to say something nice about Bill Nelson and education, but he’s never done anything about it.”
Scott was also critical of the push to expand Medicaid in Florida by Democrats adding “Florida Democrats want to expand Medicaid and call it ‘Medicare for all’. Let’s be honest, Florida Democrats want to bankrupt Medicare and turn Medicare into Medicaid.”
The GOP nominee to replace Scott, Ponte Vedra Congressman Ron DeSantis, was next to take to the podium and was direct in his remarks.
“I’m willing to lead and do things that are right when it’s not easy. To me that’s what you need to do.” said DeSantis “Florida is on the ascent right now. We need to keep that going.”
DeSantis also introduced publicly for the first time, his running mate, State Representative Jeanette Nunez from Miami. If elected with DeSantis, she would be the first Cuban-American female to serve in the position.
The Democratic nominee for Governor, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, announced during the GOP press conference that he has selected his former gubernatorial opponent, Winter Park businessman Chris King to be his running mate. Democrats held their own unity press conference in Orlando last week.
Other candidates to speak at the GOP presser included Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis, who is seeking re-election, Attorney General candidate Ashley Moody, and Commissioner of Agriculture candidate Matt Caldwell.
Later in the afternoon, the group of candidates will take part in a fundraiser being hosted by Vice President Mike Pence. Pence is campaigning for Scott in the Villages before joining the group in Orlando.
Also in attendance to support the ticket was Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson and his wife, Debbie.