Will the new Republican governor of Florida hold his bipartisan vow? • theguardian.com


Two months later narrowly a litigation election in which he nailed his colors firmly to the Trumpism mastRon DeSantis will be sworn in as Florida's 46th governor on Tuesday. Voters in the third most populous state in the country still do not know exactly what they are going to get.

Many of the Republican's choices for his new government during the seven weeks of transition since his Democratic Progressive opponent Andrew Gillum conceded have, as one might expect, followed his predecessor Rick ScottMark of radical conservatism. For example, Mary Mayhew, her choice to run the Florida Health Agency, served at the White House by blocking the expansion of the Medicaid program that provides health insurance for the poor. Richard Corcoran, senior advisor to DeSantis and former spokesman for State House, is a right-wing ideologue who will become the next commissioner for education.

But other considerably more moderate appointments left DeSantis supporters scratching their heads. Two Democrats in sight, Jared Moskowitz and Jim Zingale have been appointed to head Florida's emergency and revenue management departments respectively. And in clear break with the pro-industry policies of an outgoing governor who had infamous reputation Red tide rickDeSantis is committed to increasing the environment and drinking water as priority issues in one of the most important ecologically fragile state.

According to DeSantis, it is to respect the commitment made by the campaign to embrace bipartisanship and to rally a divided electorate, which has awarded him victory by a less than 33,000 votes, more than 8.2 m cast iron.

"We have been elected to serve all Floridians and this is a charge we will keep," DeSantis said in a statement. written address in the state released this weekend (it has not responded to requests from the Guardian and other media regarding an interview prior to the inauguration).

"I know that there are political divisions in our state, but the elections are over and it's time for our state to come together. It means prioritizing environmental problems … we are going to put Everglades speed up the restoration and make it the reality that Floridians have been promised for three decades. "

For some analysts, however, the so-called "pitbull defender Trump", whose most infamous publicity was aired, saw him read Trump's book The Art of the Deal a bedtime story to his infant son was forced to follow a more moderate path. Whoever departs more and more from the American president, who the loua as a great congressman [who] will be a great governor.

Ron DeSantis campaign announcement.

Ron DeSantis campaign announcement. Photography: YouTube

"It was assumed from the start that it would be all trump all the time, but it will not happen that way," said Susan MacManus, professor emeritus of political science at the University of South Florida and a long-time expert in Florida policy.

"The narrowness of his victory and the demographic evolution of the state have clearly shown the men of war republicans that they must expand their base. He has already demonstrated that he is doing some of his work by his two Democratic appointments, and even by a discussion about not wanting to put such a hard sell on marijuana for medical purposes. "

If DeSantis proves to be a Florida champion environment, which is seriously threatened by climate change MacManus estimates that water pollution could even affect Trump's chances of re-election in 2020.

"It will have to be," she says. "These younger generations are the environmental generations. Many small businesses in Southwest Florida have been affected at the red tide and are Republican and they will not take a kind of "good, we will come back later".

"These people are really unhappy with the pollution of the rivers and the Everglades. [DeSantis] can not afford to lose these people and I'm sure he made it clear to Trump that he would not be wearing Florida if he did not have those Republicans on board. "

One of the first problems that DeSantis, 40-year-old American congressman and former lieutenant commander of the US Navy, must appoint is the appointment of three new members to the Florida Supreme Court, decisions that will shape the leadership policy of the supreme judicial body of the state. for a generation. Whatever the choice, the panel will automatically become less diversified with the retirement of Peggy Quince, an African-American who has served since 1982. Only two women, and no African-American, are part of the group. 11 Scott's Favorite Nominees DeSantis has to choose.

But is this the passage of Florida voters from Amendment 4, a voter-approved measure that reinstates the voting rights of up to 1.5 million black nationals, other than murderers and sex offenders, who have served their sentences, already proves that it is a question of a hot potato to the next governor.

In December, DeSantis declared it would be months Prior to the Republican-dominated Florida legislature approving the "language of application" to allow the measure to be passed, a claim that was immediately made the subject of the lawsuit. a burning reprimand from Melba Pearson, executive director of the Florida ACLU.

"DeSantis wants to block Amendment 4 by asking the legislature to pass an implementation bill, in which Amendment 4 is automatically applicable," she said. .

"The only responsibility that currently falls on DeSantis is to ask state agencies to register voters immediately in accordance with state law."