As Sunshine State voters line up to cast ballots at early voting sites or hunch over mail-in ballots at home, President Donald Trump flexed his multi-million-follower Twitter muscle today in Florida’s closely watched governor’s race.
Trump’s already thrown his support behind DeSantis, who quit Congress to focus on his bid to succeed outgoing Gov. Rick Scott.
Today’s presidential tweet — which went out to his 55.4 million followers and was retweeted to who-only-knows how many more — is the latest installment of the GOP’s “crime & corruption” meme targeting DeSantis’s opponent, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.
Gillum quickly fired back with a tweet of his own, repeating a mantra where he’s chided the president for failing to use the mayor’s @AndrewGillum handle (to make it easier for his 407,000 followers to be in the know about the presidential attacks).
DeSantis and his supporters, including Trump, are making hay of the drip-drip-drip of documents being released by Christopher Kise, a Republican lawyer who represents Tally lobbyist Adam Corey. Corey appears to be at the heart of a years-long corruption probe by the FBI into Tallahassee city government. The documents, released in batches by Kise, are in response to an ethics complaint lodged against Gillum. The records show that Gillum accepted a ticket from “Mike Miller,” a faux developer who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, to the Broadway hit “Hamilton” two years ago.
Miller also dropped nearly $5,000 on a fundraiser for a committee linked to Gillum, prior to the mayor officially joining the governor’s race. The committee never reported the contribution.
Despite being branded a “thief” by the president, Gillum has repeatedly denied that he’s done anything wrong, and he maintains he’s not the subject of the FBI inquiry.
As for the Sunshine State capital’s rep as “one of the most corrupt cities in the Country,” we’re not sure what metric arrived at that conclusion.
But, in a state where the last governor’s races were determined by fewer than 100,000 votes, Trump’s social media reach might make a difference.
And if his virtual self doesn’t sway voters, perhaps his actual self will.
The part-time Florida man is stumping in two Florida GOP strongholds this week, to boost support for Scott — who’s trying to boot U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson out of his long-held seat — and DeSantis.
Trump’s coming to Fort Myers Wednesday, and he’ll be in Pensacola on Saturday.