Republican candidate for governor, Ron DeSantis, has picked up the support of another major law enforcement group. The Florida Police Chiefs Association announced its endorsement of DeSantis Wednesday afternoon.
“Florida Police Chiefs want a Governor who supports law enforcement, the principles of the association and will protect our communities,” said Amy Mercer, executive director of the Florida Police Chiefs Association. “The FPCA proudly supports Congressman Ron DeSantis for Governor. As a former prosecutor, he understands the sacrifice our law enforcement officers make when they put on their uniforms every day.”
The police chiefs are the latest group of law enforcement groups to throw their support behind DeSantis. He had already picked up the endorsements of the Police Benevolent Association, the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association and numerous sheriffs from across Florida.
“I’m proud to receive the endorsement of the Florida Police Chiefs Association,” said DeSantis. “Throughout my career, whether in the military, as a prosecutor or in Congress, I have always supported the brave men and women of our law enforcement community. Floridians deserve a Governor who will stand up for our heroes who work every day to protect us.”
DeSantis has been critical of his opponent, Andrew Gillum, for not disavowing a pledge he made to a group formed to protest the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012. The Republican has used Gillum’s support of the Dream Defenders to portray the Democrat as anti-Israel and anti-American.
The Dream Defenders pledge that Gillum signed promises not to take campaign donations from private prisons or the National Rifle Association. It also calls for the shifting funding away from “prisons, detention centers, guns and police” and toward programs that support the safety and basic needs of the people.
“Unfortunately, my opponent, Andrew Gillum, has signed a pledge saying police and prisons have no place in our state, which is as dangerous as it is despicable,” said DeSantis. “As Governor, I will always stand with our law enforcement and support them in their mission to keep Florida safe.”
A number of polls have consistently shown Gillum leading DeSantis, but by varying margins. A poll released Wednesday by Reuters/Ipsos shows Gillum up by 6 percent. The website, Real Clear Politics, which averages the polls taken to date, shows Gillum’s lead at 3 percent in the governor’s contest. That number does not yet reflect the Reuters/Ipsos poll.