In interviews with Terrell Jermaine Starr of The Root, white Florida Republicans are admitting that they have had enough of Donald Trump and plan to send him a message by voting against his hand-picked candidate for governor, Ron DeSantis, and will instead vote for Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum (D).
Gillum has become a thorn in Trump's side, with the two trading barbs, and that has not gone unnoticed by some longtime members of the Republican party who have looked on in horror at what Trump has wrought over the past two years.
Flashing his official Republican Party membership card to make his point, Joe Bryant said he found DeSantis intolerable and could see no path to vote for him due to his tight connection to Trump.
“Ron DeSantis is a Trump flaky,” the 71-year-old Bryant explained. “I respect his service to the country. He went to Yale. He went to Harvard. You’ve got to be pretty smart. But he’s an ‘I’m with Trump, anything he says goes person.’”
Bryant added that he was particularly appalled at how Trump treated the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and that really turned the tide for him.
“I’m sick and tired of, ‘You can only vote your party,’” he admitted. “If you’re a Republican, no matter what egregious thing the president says or any other Republican does, no one is called on the carpet. Are the Democrats perfect? No, they are not. I’ve just seen neo-conservative Christians who have bastardized the Bible, and it troubles me.”
According to Lori Gaglione, a disabilities rights lawyer, she has gone so far as to volunteer for Democrat Gillum's campaign.
“I have a lot of conservative friends who are supporting Gillum, but they are too afraid to put their Gillum signs in their lawns,” Gaglione explained before adding, “A good friend of mine is supporting Gillum. She’s a Republican. I gave her a Gillum campaign sign, but she hasn’t put it up yet.”
Speaking with that friend, Maryanne Lambertson, and her husband Chris, they explained why they have thrown their support behind Gillum.
“I just despise Trump,” Chris said. “I don’t agree with most of what Gillum says. I’m against the $15 an hour minimum wage. But DeSantis is Trump, and I don’t want Trump in Florida. We have Gillum yard signs in the garage but I’m not putting them up. I don’t want to attract too much negative attention from my conservative friends.”
Maryanne jumped in to add that they have Republican friends who do support DeSantis, but that they don't want to admit it.
“They’re embarrassed,” she admitted before clarifying by stating, “Because of Trump."
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