Trailing Democratic rival Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in the Florida gubernatorial race with two weeks to go, former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., is turning to his running mate to help make up ground with Hispanic voters in the Sunshine State.

On Wednesday, the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) unveiled a Spanish language TV ad featuring Florida House Speaker Pro Tempore Jeanette Nuñez, R-Miami, who DeSantis picked as his understudy on the GOP ticket.

“I’m Jeanette Nuñez,” she says in the ad according an English translation provided by the RPOF. “I want to share with you what Ron DeSantis and I want for Florida. We want schools to have resources so that our children receive the best education. We will not raise taxes. We will always protect water quality and the environment and provide more opportunities for our families. I ask for your vote so that together with Ron DeSantis, we can take Florida in the right direction.

A longtime legislative aide who was elected to the Florida House in 2010, Nuñez represents parts of Miami Dade County. She moved quickly into the leadership, serving as deputy whip in her first term. Besides being the speaker pro tempore, she is also the vice chair of the Florida House Appropriations Committee. Nuñez also served on the state Constitution Revision Commission earlier this year. She has also served on the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking.

Recent polls have shown DeSantis behind Gillum and the Democrat holds a solid lead in most of them with Hispanic voters.

Gillum named Central Florida businessman Chris King as his running mate. King ran for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination but placed fifth in the primary at the end of August.

 

Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com

 

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