The Republican gubernatorial ticket got a boost in populous South Florida on Friday as leading local officials threw their support to former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., over Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez and Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernández appeared with DeSantis and his running mate state Rep. Jeanette Nuñez, R-Miami, to endorse them at an event in Hialeah.

“I’m proud to endorse Ron DeSantis for governor and Jeanette Nuñez as our lieutenant governor because they will be the leaders our state needs. As someone who served in the military and as a federal prosecutor, Ron has always been a public servant who has put people above his own interests. Jeanette was born and raised in Miami and has worked tirelessly to advocate for our community. I know that Ron and Jeanette are both committed to building on our economic success, improving our schools, protecting our environment and keeping our communities safe. I look forward to working with Governor DeSantis and Lieutenant Governor Nuñez to make Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida the best it can be,” Giménez  said.

“It was great to welcome Ron DeSantis and Jeanette Nuñez to Hialeah today, and I’m proud to endorse them as our next governor and lieutenant governor. Ron is an Iraq veteran and former federal prosecutor who served our country honorably. He picked a wonderful running mate in Jeanette Nuñez, who is a Miami native and has worked to advance the priorities of our community during her time in the legislature. As governor and lieutenant governor, I know that Ron DeSantis and Jeanette Nuñez will always stand up for Hialeah and work to create more jobs, better schools and keep us safe. I encourage everyone in our community to get out and vote for them today!” Hernández said.

“I thank Mayors Gimenez and Hernandez for their support of my campaign,” said DeSantis. “These two fine men understand what it takes to deliver on quality of life, public safety, keeping taxes low and allowing small businesses to flourish, and I will do just that as governor of the state of Florida.  As a veteran, former prosecutor and having served in Congress, I understand what it takes to lead a state like Florida and pledge to continue to foster an environment where Florida families can succeed at home, at school and in the workplace.”


Kevin Derby can be reached at

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