Former Congressman Ron DeSantis talks about his experience of playing in the Little League World Series when he was 12 years old to how he’ll “go to bat” for Florida in a new TV commercial released today. The ad is paid for by the Republican Party of Florida.
“We were only 12 but we learned to dream big, work hard, and swing away,” says DeSantis who was part of the 1991 Dunedin Little League team to make to the Little League World Series in Williamsport.
He said that experience taught him the value of hard work that he’d use as governor to “grow high-paying jobs, restore Florida’s water quality, and improve education for every child.”
The new commercial, which airs for 10 days and is backed by $4 million, is an effort to soften DeSantis’ image and untether him from President Donald Trump. All of DeSantis’ commercials in the Republican Primary mentioned the President’s endorsement. This one makes no mention of Trump.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, however, doesn’t plan to let Floridians forget that Trump endorsement. In a fundraising email sent out Thursday, Gillum says “the choice is clear” as he highlights policy differences on health care, education, immigration, and gun safety.
Gillum mentions Trump once in the email saying DeSantis “fully supports Donald Trump’s wall and deportation of immigrants.” Gillum is clearly making a play for Hispanic voters though DeSantis selection of State Rep. Jeanette Nuñez as his Lt. Governor running mate should help with Cuban-American voters in Miami-Dade County.
A Florida Chamber of Commerce poll released Wednesday gives Gillum a four-point lead over DeSantis. Even more concerning to some Republicans is Gillum’s early lead in fundraising. Gillum has reportedly raised $4 million since the primary while DeSantis lags behind with more than $500,000. Outside groups are expected to play a major factor in what could end up being the most expensive governor’s race in Florida history.