Florida lawmakers gave their Republican governor nearly everything he demanded during the current legislative session, which ends today. They passed restrictions on abortion, immigration and teaching about race and sexual orientation and gender. They gave him the election fraud police force he said is necessary and capitulated to his threat to veto a water bill pushed by the sugar industry but opposed by Everglades advocates.
But NBC News reports that the GOP governor, who is running for reelection in November and many expect to run for president in 2024, is spoiling for a court fight over what’s known as a “minority access” congressional seat in north Florida held by a Black Democrat. He is threatening to call back the Florida legislature into special session and pressure them to approve his plan to eliminate not only the north Florida seat held by Democratic Rep. Al Lawson but also the Orlando-area district held by another Black Democrat, Rep. Val Demings.
NBC News reports: “Dragging legislators back to Tallahassee, which would be the ultimate power play for DeSantis, is on brand for a governor who became a top 2024 Republican presidential contender — second only to former President Donald Trump — for his willingness to fight anyone who hints at crossing him.” That’s making GOP lawmakers wary.
“This is DeSantis’ M.O.: What he cares about, he cares about deeply. And if you get in his way, he’s going to roll through you,” said state Sen. Jeff Brandes, a Tampa Republican. “Members don’t know him and don’t know what he’s going to do. And that not knowing is part of the reason they fear him. This whole session was a showcase for DeSantis — a trial balloon for a White House campaign — and nationally he’s a 600-pound gorilla with the possibility of becoming an 800-pound gorilla, especially if he gets his way with these maps