When he won the governor’s race in November, Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis did so wth the support of a strong female staff led by campaign manager Susie Wiles, along with his wife, Casey DeSantis, and his running mate, Lt. Gov.-elect Jeanette Nuñez.
To underline the role women played in his campaign, DeSantis chose to begin this week’s inaugural events with a breakfast Monday morning at the Goodwood Museum, a local Tallahassee landmark, honoring female leaders.
The focus of the breakfast was Nuñez who will be the highest-ranking Hispanic woman elected in state history when she is sworn-in at midday on Tuesday.
“I am a proud mother, a wife, a woman of faith, a former Florida legislator, a healthcare executive, and soon-to-be the lieutenant governor of the great state of Florida,” Nuñez told the crowd.
Nuñez was chosen by DeSantis to be lieutenant governor after serving eight years in the Florida House. She left office in November due to term limits. She said when the campaign first contacted her about possibly being on the ticket, she wanted to take some time to think about the possibility. She had planned to spend a couple of years out of politics before making a possible bid for the state Senate in 2020.
One question she had was what role she would play in a DeSantis administration. The lieutenant governor is really a position in state government that has no real role other than filling in if something were to happen to the governor.
Nuñez is the youngest of three children born and raised in Miami. Her parents were Cuban immigrants who fled the island in 1961.
“They taught me the importance of hard work and the value of education,” Nuñez said.
She attended Florida International University where she obtained a degree in political science and international relations.
“Never once imagining ever working in politics, let alone standing here as the first hispanic lieutenant governor of our state,” she added.
Nuñez expects to play a key role in the new administration. She talked about being involved in issues involving education, the environment and children.
Incoming First Lady Casey DeSantis also expects to play an active role in her new position.
“I want to do whatever that I can to support the great people of the state of Florida,” DeSantis told reporters following the breakfast.
But she says her first duties will be as mother of two young children who will be living in Florida’s historic Governor’s Mansion.
“I was thinking about this beautiful, early 20th-century wallpaper. Orange crayon wouldn’t look so good on that,” she told reporters
“We want to make sure people have the opportunity to see two young children growing up in the mansion — this is the first time this has happened in 50 years,”.she added.