After a long Thanksgiving weekend, Governor-elect Ron DeSantis got down to business Monday outlining some of his goals for his first year in office and announcing a key appointment to his administration.
DeSantis chose Shane Strum as his chief of staff. Strum currently serves as senior vice president for South Florida’s Memorial Healthcare System. He is no stranger to state government having served as a transition adviser to Gov. Rick Scott, and chief of staff to former Gov. Charlie Crist. Strum also has served as chairman of the Republican Party in Broward County.
“I am very pleased to announce that Shane is returning to public service and bringing his expertise to our administration,” said Governor-elect DeSantis. “Having spent many years in both the private and public sector, and previously serving two Florida Governors, Shane will be a great addition to our team.”
DeSantis made the announcement during a visit to a Broward County Jewish day school Monday morning. Both DeSantis and Lieutenant Governor-elect Jeanette Nuñez toured the Brauser Maimonides Academy and attended a school roundtable discussion.
DeSantis used the roundtable event to highlight his support for Florida’s school choice scholarship programs, including the Florida Tax-Credit Scholarship Program which covers tuition for about 80 students at BMA.
While at the school, DeSantis discussed the importance of continuing to support and stand with Florida’s Jewish community. He called on the Florida Legislature to consider making state funding available for hardening security for at-risk non-public schools recurring in the state budget. BMA has previously received state grants for security hardening to help protect its students and faculty amid an increase in anti-Semitic threats.
DeSantis also used the event to criticize Airbnb for taking “steps against Israel” with recent business decisions that have been hailed as a victory for the anti-Semitic “Boycott, Divest, Sanctions” movement. DeSantis warned the company that if it continues, Florida will look to take steps against them. Airbnb recently decided to remove listings of rentals in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
DeSantis was in Broward to finalize Strum’s hiring.
It was nearly three weeks ago that DeSantis appeared to have won the Nov. 6 general election over his Democratic opponent Andrew Gillum. However, the vote margin was close enough to trigger a statewide machine recount that officially determined DeSantis was the winner. The results were certified by the Florida Election Canvassing Commission last Tuesday.
Monday’s announcement that Strum had been selected as chief of staff comes a week after a “help wanted” sign went up on the transition website for the DeSantis transition team.
The website, DeSantisTransition.com, features an application portal for those who might have an interest in working for the DeSantis administration. The portal allows those interested in working for the new administration to submit resumes and applications.