GOP Activists Say They Will Vote Against Florida Republican Ron DeSantis Because Trump Backs Him: 'Burn It Down'
A former Republican representative from Florida this week revealed that he had voted for Andrew Gillum, the Democratic Party’s candidate for governor. And some current Republican activists and donors are following suit.
David Jolly, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2014 to 2017, spoke to the Tampa Bay Times about his decision to vote against Republican candidate Ron DeSantis.
“I’ve spoken to Republican voters who under-voted in the 2016 presidential race because they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary Clinton. But this go-round, they’re bringing themselves to vote for Andrew Gillum,” Jolly remarked. “There’s a break-it-so-it-can-be-rebuilt element. I also really think it’s just a plain rejection of all things Donald Trump and his surrogates.”
“I’ve turned in my ballot. I voted for Andrew Gillum,” the former congressman added. “The reason is simple: it’s because I’ve served with Ron DeSantis.”
It’s not clear, however, that President Donald Trump’s Republican detractors — like Jolly — can push Gillum to a win on election night.
“There’s a category of Republicans who I’ll call the burn-it-down folks,” Republican consultant Mac Stipanovich told the paper. “They think that the only thing that can change the momentum that is Trump and Trumpism is defeat. Massive, bitter defeat. And they’re voting straight Democrat tickets.”
“I think it’s fair to say that I will not vote for Ron DeSantis,” Stipanovich admitted. “But I think it’s unlikely, obviously, that I’ll vote for Andrew Gillum. I consider myself to be a conservative. That would limit me and Never-Trumpers like me to ‘no’ votes, or some cutesy silly statement. Write in Prince Charles, or whatever.”
Mike Fernandez, a former finance chairman for Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL), said that he also had turned his back on the party of Trump. And Fernandez is putting his money where his mouth is, spending six figures this year to support Gillum.