GOP candidate Ron DeSantis aims to become Florida’s next governor

(WSVN) - Florida’s midterm election is heating up, and the race for governor is just as hot. Yesterday we focused on Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum. Now, let’s take a look at his Republican opponent Ron DeSantis. 7’s Joe Roetz has more about the candidate.

Ron DeSantis: “My name is Ron DeSantis. I’m a veteran, a husband and a father.

Republican Ron DeSantis is looking to keep conservative control of the governor’s seat in Florida.

The husband and father of two has been hard at work this election season alongside his pick for lieutenant governor.

Ron DeSantis: “Jeanette and I are focused on our economic message, our education message, our environmental message and then the need to maintain public safety. Those are the core bread and butter issues that are gonna effect Floridians.”

The congressman, who represented southern Jacksonville to Daytona Beach, recently vacated his Washington D.C. seat to campaign full time.

DeSantis toured the Everglades on a recent campaign stop where he was forced to address his views on climate change.

Ron DeSantis: “We effect the environment, and I don’t think there is any question about that.”

While also promoting his close ties to D.C., DeSantis said, if elected, he’d be able to get federal funding for Everglades restoration projects.

Ron DeSantis: “I’ll be able to get on the phone with key officials in the administration, with the president if need be.”

On education, DeSantis is pledging to boost classroom spending and promote vocational schools amid climbing college tuition costs.

Ron DeSantis: “We’re gonna stress skill-based training, vocational training, preparing people for skilled trades, preparing people for computers and technology.”

Ron DeSantis (in campaign commercial): “From Dunedin to Tallahassee, I’ll always go to bat for Florida.”

The Florida native is Yale and Harvard educated. He also served in the Navy and was endorsed early on in the governor’s race by President Donald Trump.

President Trump: “He’s tough, he’s smart.”

But DeSantis drew national criticism for this comment when talking about his black Democratic challenger Andrew Gillum.

Ron DeSantis: “Let’s build off the success we had with Governor Scott. The last thing we want to do is monkey this up.”

DeSantis was forced to defend the comment many saw as stoking racial tensions.

Ron DeSantis: “I didn’t wanna drop an f-bomb on national television, but I really think socialist policies will mess up the state’s economic direction. There was zero racial about it.”

Within days, DeSantis was moving on and continuing to capitalize on the state’s conservative leanings when it comes to electing a governor.

Ron DeSantis: “I think that I represent the resurgence of maybe a Teddy Roosevelt-style Republican party here in Florida.”

DeSantis said Governor Rick Scott has done a great job bringing in businesses and promoting jobs; he wants to continue that trend if he is elected to office.

DeSantis and his opponent, Democrat Andrew Gillum, face off in their first debate Sunday in Tampa. 7’s Jeff Lennox will be there. Look for his live reports all afternoon and evening.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Broward Sample Ballot
https://www.browardsoe.org/Voter-Information/Sample-Ballot

Miami-Dade Sample Ballot
https://www8.miamidade.gov/global/service.page?Mduid_service=ser1511964640434245

Website for Ron DeSantis
https://rondesantis.com

Copyright 2018 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.