Liberal Fla commissioner shocks Dems with full-throated endorsement of DeSantis: ‘This was not a difficult choice for me…’

A longtime Democrat official from Florida has endorsed Gov. Ron DeSantis’s reelection campaign, though he maintains he’s still a staunch Democrat.

So why then has Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner endorsed a Republican? Because, he says, it was the “obvious choice.”

Listen:

“This was not a difficult choice for me. This was not the proverbial ‘lesser of two evils.’ Gov. DeSantis has demonstrated himself beyond worthy of the humbling duties of this office. And he has done so with a level of dignity, purpose, and respect that is lost in the public sphere today,” Kerner announced at an endorsement event earlier in the week.

“It may come as a shock to many of you, or at least many of my friends, that, as a Democrat-elected officer in deep blue Palm Beach County, I’m endorsing a Republican governor. But I will not remain silent. There’s too much on the line in this election.”

DeSantis’ challenger, Charlie Crist, is a radically far-left Democrat who wants to defund the police, inject critical race theory and LGBT indoctrination into schools, and ban so-called “assault weapons.”

“The governor’s Democrat opponent has already started talking about reallocation, which to me by the way is a code word for taking resources way from the men and women who protect us. It’s a code word for defunding the police,” Kerner continued.

“Florida is a proud state, one with a deep history. The beauty of our state is represented in the diversity of our environment and in the diversity of our people. But no doubt, we’re a state on the rise, and I give a lot of credit to our governor for the trajectory of our state.”

Despite this shocking endorsement, he stressed during an appearance this Friday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends First” that he’s still a proud Democrat.

Listen:

“I’ve been a registered Democrat since I registered to vote at the age of 18. I don’t really see it as going against my party,” he said.

As to why he’s endorsed a Republican governor, he explained that he’s a Floridian and American first — and so is Gov. DeSantis.

“I’m a Floridian, an American first. But there’s a confluence of reasons. The trajectory of our state, which I spoke about in my endorsement, his support for law enforcement, his management of the COVID 19 pandemic. There’s a host of reasons why I endorsed him,” he said.

He added that he’s not alone in being a pro-DeSantis Democrat.

“There has been a lot of that, what I call sort of shadow support for sure. Obviously, Governor DeSantis is doing an incredible job in Florida. He’s America’s governor, but there is a lot of support out there. And it’s been referred to me by many people that have called me or texted me,” he said.

“‘You know, it’s an act of courage, what you did and you should be proud.’ And it’s not about what I did. It’s about the governor’s record of service in the state of Florida. But ultimately, it should not be an act of courage and should not be seen as an act of courage when you don’t outsource your vote and you make your own independent decision about who’s going to be the chief executive of our state.”

News of Kerner’s endorsement first emerged Tuesday courtesy of a statement from the governor, who praised the Palm Beach County commissioner’s dedication to law and order.

“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,” he added.

This reportedly isn’t the first time that Kerner has sided with DeSantis.

Back when CBS News’ “60 Minutes” ran a hit piece accusing the governor of partaking in a “pay-for-play” scheme vis-a-vis the distribution of COVID vaccines, Kerner came to his defense.

“I watched the 60 Minutes segment on Palm Beach County last night and feel compelled to issue this statement. The reporting was not just based on bad information – it was intentionally false. I know this because I offered to provide my insight into Palm Beach County’s vaccination efforts and 60 Minutes declined,” he said.

“They know that the Governor came to Palm Beach County and met with me and the County Administrator and we asked to expand the state’s partnership with Publix to Palm Beach County. We also discussed our own local plans to expand mass vaccinations centers throughout the county, which the Governor has been incredibly supportive. We asked and he delivered. They had that information, and they left it out because it kneecaps their narrative.”

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Vivek Saxena

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