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Ron DeSantis Names Dave Kerner to Lead Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Last week, as he begins his second term in Tallahassee, Gov. Ron DeSantis named Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner to serve as the executive director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).

Kerner will take over from Terry Rhodes who was named to the post by then-Gov. Rick Scott in 2014.

A former police officer and an attorney, Kerner served in the Florida House as a Democrat, winning a seat in 2012 and serving two terms. In 2016, Kerner successfully ran for a seat on Palm Beach County Commission, rising to serve as county mayor. Kerner will serve on an interim basis until the full Cabinet votes on his nomination on January 17.

Kerner was one of the most prominent Democrats to back DeSantis last year, even garnering national media attention when he endorsed the governor.

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“Governor DeSantis has demonstrated himself beyond worthy of the humble duties of this office,” Kerner said in his endorsement. “And he has done so with the level of dignity, purpose and respect that is lost in the public sphere today.”

DeSantis also named attorney Michael Barnett, the chairman of the Republican Party of Palm Beach County, to replace Kerner on the Palm Beach County Commission.


  • Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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