Daytona Beach, FL – It was a low-key way to end what he hopes will be a winning run to replace Rick Scott as Florida’s Governor.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis wrapped up a hectic primary campaign on familiar ground tonight (August 27th), speaking to a crowd of around 50 people – mostly supporters who have already voted – inside the Bill France Room at the Daytona International Speedway tours facility.
DeSantis – who represents all of Volusia and Flagler counties, along with other parts of Northeast Florida, in the U.S. House of Representatives – said afterward that it was a “great spot” to end his effort versus Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam for the GOP nomination.
“There’s a lot of good people here, friends for years and years,” DeSantis added. “We’re gonna get a good vote out of Volusia County, which will be really critical for victory.”
The Navy veteran touched on familiar themes for his final campaign stop before tomorrow’s Primary Election, including that he will push for a wall along the Mexican border to stop illegal immigration and drug smuggling, won’t stand for “sanctuary cities” as governor and vowed to remove “liberal activist judges” from the state Supreme Court.
DeSantis also slammed Putnam for not supporting the E-Verify system in Florida and criticized him and other organizations – U.S. Sugar in particular – for running “at least $17 million” in negative advertising during the primary campaign.
“Putnam opposed [E-Verify] and he helped kill it when it was pending in the state Senate a few years ago,” DeSantis noted to reporters afterward. “So is that putting Florida first? No. He didn’t put Florida first. He put his big donors first who want cheap foreign labor.”
DeSantis also admitted that getting President Trump’s endorsement during the primary helped him get his message across to those who hadn’t heard of him before then, but he feels what’s really made him the odds-on favorite to beat Putnam was Fox News’ decision to nationally televise his debate against Putnam on June 29th.
He told the crowd that, as governor, he’ll have special access to the President, making it much more likely that Florida will benefit from federal dollars as long as Trump’s in office.
Trump pushed his endorsement of DeSantis several times on Twitter today, including while DeSantis was wrapping up his speech in Daytona.
VOTE FOR RON! https://t.co/80NShvQ73u
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2018
DeSantis’ stop comes 10 days after Putnam went to LuLu’s Oceanside Grill in Ormond Beach as part of his statewide bus tour.
— Adam Putnam (@adamputnam) August 17, 2018