Here’s one way for a Republican to increase his environmental bonafides. The organization that advocates for the restoration of Florida’s unique ecosystem – the Everglades – has endorsed Republican Ron DeSantis for governor over Democrat Andrew Gillum. 

“The Everglades and coastal estuaries could care less about partisan politics, so the Trust doesn’t. They are in desperate need of a hero – and they found one in Ron DeSantis,” said Kimberly Mitchell, Everglades Trust Executive Director. “Ron understands the critical infrastructure projects that must be undertaken and expedited, with the ability to make them a top priority, and already has a track record of standing up to an industry that is physically and politically blocking the reconnection of Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades – Big Sugar.”

While in Congress, DeSantis frequently voted against subsidies for the sugar industry, which environmental groups routinely blame for pollution in Lake Okeechobee. When DeSantis released his environmental platform in September, he pledged to continue Everglades restoration and supports storing water discharges from the Okeechobee in a southern reservoir to prevent the spread of toxic algae discharges. 

DeSantis won the support of the Everglades Trust in the Republican Primary but winning the organization’s support in the general election gives him added environmental credibility.  Not every environmental group agrees though. Moments after the Everglades Trust announced its endorsement, Florida Conservation Voters, which is backing Gillum, said DeSantis was trying to “greenwash himself” for political purposes.