Republican Ron DeSantis is quickly emerging as the choice of law enforcement to be Florida’s next governor. 

The Florida Association of State Troopers (FAST), which represents 1300 active, auxiliary, reserve and retired state troopers, announced it’s endorsement of DeSantis. 

“As a Congressman, Ron DeSantis was a staunch supporter of the nation’s military and a vocal defender of the Second Amendment,” said Mike Kirby, chairman of FAST. “As Governor, we look forward to working closely with him to continue the legacy set forth by Governor Rick Scott in support of the fine men and women of the Florida Highway Patrol, and the law enforcement community throughout the State of Florida.” 

“Throughout my career, I have always stood in support of these brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep Florida safe,” said DeSantis. “Unfortunately, my opponent, Andrew Gillum, is running on an anti-law enforcement platform, calling to cut funding for police and saying they have no place in Florida. While Andrew Gillum will stand against law enforcement, I will always stand with them.”

Former Congressman DeSantis has criticized Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum as anti-law enforcement and points to Gillum’s support of “Dream Defenders” which states police and prisons have no role in the criminal justice system. 

Earlier this week, DeSantis received the backing of 11 Florida sheriffs many of whom went after Gillum for not only supporting “Dream Defenders” but also the fact that Tallahassee, the city Gillum leads, has the highest crime rate in Florida. 

“When I found out that Andrew Gillum pledged his allegiance to the ‘Freedom Papers,’ an anti-police manifesto from the Dream Defenders organization, I was appalled,” said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. “I am tired of this rhetoric that demonizes our law enforcement officers. It makes the jobs of our deputies harder and more dangerous. I am standing here today in support of Ron DeSantis because when he becomes governor, I know he will support law enforcement every step of the way.” 

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd added, “When I looked at this election, I asked myself a simple question that every voter should ask themselves: Do you want a governor who is a decorated veteran and former prosecutor, or a governor who ignored pleas from police for more support and more officers while crime skyrocketed in his city? That’s the choice in this race and it makes the decision easy. That’s why I am proud to support Ron DeSantis.”

Ivey and Judd joined Sheriff Carmine Marceno (Lee), Sheriff Al Nienhuis (Hernando), Sheriff Bill Farmer (Sumter), Sheriff Arnold Lanier (Hardee), Sheriff Steve Whidden (Hendry), Sheriff Wayne Padgett (Taylor), Sheriff Rick Staly (Flagler), Sheriff Dennis Lemma (Seminole), and Sheriff Billy Woods (Marion) in endorsing DeSantis for Governor.