Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been accused of retaliating against a state Republican who supported former President Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.
DeSantis, who is also seeking the GOP nomination in 2024, vetoed several projects on Thursday (June 15), including many in the Sarasota area.
State Senator Joe Gruters, who represents the area, criticized the move.
In a statement, Gruters claimed DeSantis was “clearly upset” that he had “endorsed Donald Trump for President and he took it out the people of Sarasota County.”
Gruters suggested DeSantis viewed politics differently than himself and Trump, describing the pair as understanding “that people come first” and that it is the job of elected leaders to “deliver clean water, jobs and a better America for the next generation.”
Gruters, who was the chairman of the Florida Republican Party until last year, was an early supporter of Trump’s 2016 campaign and, in April, publicly endorsed the former President for 2024.
The State Senator has also remained one of Trump’s closest political allies in Florida and became one of dozens of Florida Republicans who endorsed Trump over DeSantis.
Among the Sunshine State’s congressional Republicans, Trump has twelve endorsements, while DeSantis only has one.
However, Gruters is the only state lawmaker to support Trump; meanwhile, DeSantis is supported by 23 state senators and 77 state representatives.
DeSantis’ office disputed Gruters’ claims that the budget vetoes were in retaliation for the senator’s endorsement.
On Friday (June 16), DeSantis spokesman Jeremy Redfern told Newsweek that it was “absurd” to turn “conservative governance and fiscal responsibility into a political statement,” highlighting that DeSantis had approved more than $125 million for projects in the Senator’s County.