David Jolly voted for Democrat Andrew Gillum for Florida governor, despite serving in Congress alongside Ron DeSantis.
Republican former congressman David Jolly, who represented Florida’s 13th district from 2014 to 2017, said he voted for Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum, not fellow Republican Ron DeSantis.
“I’ve turned in my ballot. I voted for Andrew Gillum. The reason is simple: it’s because I’ve served with Ron DeSantis,” Jolly told the Tampa Bay Times.
Jolly also said he believes other Republican voters are backing Gillum as a way to repudiate Trump.
“I’ve spoken to Republican voters who under-voted in the 2016 presidential race because they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary Clinton. But this go-round, they’re bringing themselves to vote for Andrew Gillum,” he explained.
Jolly added, “There’s a break-it-so-it-can-be-rebuilt element. I also really think it’s just a plain rejection of all things Donald Trump and his surrogates.”
DeSantis is a disciple of Trump who played up his similarities with the bigoted Republican leader to win the nomination. He infamously starred in a television ad where he told his children to “build the wall,” a nod to Trump’s race-obsessed platform.
In exchange, Trump endorsed DeSantis in the primary and has pushed him in the general election.
DeSantis recently endorsed Trump’s unconstitutional proposal to end birthright citizenship, to which opponent Gillum responded, “Floridians deserve a Governor who will stand up for everyone in our state, not bow down to Donald Trump’s every unconstitutional whim.”
Gillum has also taken note of how DeSantis has surrounded himself with the same sort of toxic racism that Trump has. During their debate, the Democrat said, “I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist — I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist.”
DeSantis needs every vote he can get in the tight race and he cannot afford to lose many supporters from his own party. But his embrace of Trump and his baggage may be a politically fatal mistake.