Florida Dems. Accuse Controversial Governor of Forfeiting Responsibility
Florida Democrats say that Ron DeSantis is intentionally trying to torpedo their legislative agenda by refusing to call a special election for an open house seat.
Republicans have been racking up wins in Florida for years. The GOP now holds the governor’s office as well as the state’s two senate seats. Democrats, however, still hold the majority in the state House of Representatives.
That majority got slimmer earlier this month when Rep. Alcee Hastings died of pancreatic cancer. And thus far, DeSantis is refusing to hold a special election to place a new representative in his seat.
Barbara Sharief, who wants to run for Hastings’ seat, said, “It’s really annoying. It’s unfair to leave the residents of the 20th District without a congressperson and without representation.”
The hopeful was also asked about rumors that DeSantis’ actions are intentional. “That’s been at the top of everybody’s mind,” she responded. “And based on the silence, I’m kind of leaning in that direction — that maybe this is a political opportunity for the Republicans to continue to stall on legislation that needs to go through.”
Alcee Hastings died 11 days ago, Gov. DeSantis has the power to set a special election whenever – and Dems worry that he's slow-walking it to prevent a safe blue seat from being filled. (DeSantis hasn't responded either way.) https://t.co/UNwUvNCQCH
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) April 17, 2021
Thomas Kennedy, a Democratic National Committee, was more blunt in his criticism. “He’s just a very punitive guy with an authoritarian streak and I wouldn’t put it past him to slow-walk it. Even if that’s not the intention, the failure to act and schedule this leaves the people in the district without a representative. He’s forfeiting responsibility and denying representation.”
As of right now, there is no date set for a special election to fill the seat.