In the wake of Hurricane Ian, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been pelted with attacks by his Democrat gubernatorial opponent Charlie Crist, but that has not stopped other Florida residents from voicing their support for the governor’s hurricane response.
Earlier this week, Crist criticized DeSantis for what he described as a “lapse in leadership” in the days before Hurricane Ian, blaming the governor for Lee County officials’ “late” evacuation order in an interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Dismissing those comments Friday, Republican Carlos Trujillo, a Floridian and former U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States, praised DeSantis’s leadership both prior to and after the storm.
“Gov. DeSantis’ response before, during, and after Hurricane Ian made landfall has been the most coordinated arguably in Florida history,” Trujillo told RSBN in a statement.
“There was seamless coordination between federal, state, and local government and Biden even praised Gov. DeSantis by saying his Hurricane Ian relief efforts were ‘pretty remarkable,’ which speaks volumes to leadership,” he added.
Noting that Ian was a “life-altering storm” that left millions of homes and businesses without power, the former ambassador also praised the governor’s efforts to restore Florida’s economy “as quickly as possible.”
“More than 99 percent of the power has been restored, allowing Florida’s economy to get back on track,” Trujillo said. “If this isn’t true leadership, I don’t know what is.”
Other Florida Republicans have spoken out in support of DeSantis’s pre- and post-hurricane leadership as well.
For instance, on Oct. 5, Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., told Newsmax: “I have to just absolutely tip my hat and say thank you to Gov. DeSantis. He has done everything possible that he could.”
Praising the governor and his wife for their “boots on the ground” efforts to help first responders following the storm, the congresswoman added that the path of Hurricane Ian was still very uncertain leading up to its landfall near Fort Myers.
“When we thought this hurricane was about to smack my district up in Cedar Key, we were terrified,” Cammack said. “That it turned so quickly to the right and hit Southwest Florida, nobody could have predicted that, and we did the absolute best that we can. I think that Gov. DeSantis has been doing a phenomenal job in the lead-up, and during, and now in post-recovery mode.”
Moreover, DeSantis’s recovery efforts were also commended by President Donald J. Trump at the America First Policy Institute’s Hispanic Leadership Conference. After expressing his sympathies toward those affected by the storm, the president declared, “God bless our governor,” to a crowd that appeared to agree.
Meanwhile, as RSBN previously reported, Crist came under fire earlier this month for soliciting campaign donations from victims of Hurricane Ian.
But while the two candidates clearly have different perspectives on what constitutes good leadership, they will have the opportunity to debate the issue as, per CBS 12 News, the gubernatorial debate that was previously postponed due to Hurricane Ian has been rescheduled for Monday, Oct. 24.
The event, which is the only debate planned for the Florida governor’s race, will be livestreamed and broadcast live on local TV stations across the state.