On Thursday, Florida Politics reported that Andrew Warren, the Democratic state prosecutor of Hillsborough County, Florida, is hitting back at Gov. Ron DeSantis after he moved to suspend him from office.
“People need to understand this isn’t the Governor trying to suspend the one elected official," said Warren. “This is the Governor trying to overthrow democracy here in Hillsborough County.”
Florida is unusual among states in that county prosecutors are elected directly, but that the governor has the authority to suspend them from office. DeSantis took this action against Warren, a progressive prosecutor who was elected on criminal justice reform, because of his refusal to enforce the state's 15-week abortion ban and prohibition on gender-affirming care for children. In his place, DeSantis has installed Susan Lopez, a right-wing lawyer he previously appointed as Hillsborough County Judge.
“We’re protecting people’s rights; we have fought so hard for public safety and fairness and justice," Warren said. "If the Governor thinks he can do a better job, then he should run for state attorney — not President. The Governor wants to do his sideshow with his cronies. I’m the one who’s upholding the law.” He added that regarding abortion and gender-affirming care prosecutions, "None of those cases have been brought to us. We’re not anticipating those cases being brought to us," and urged any concerned to ask the county sheriff if any such cases are even being investigated.
“I think the Governor is trying to make a good impression on the Iowa caucus voters,” Warren added.
This comes as DeSantis, thought to be a potential presidential rival to former President Donald Trump in 2024, wages furious culture wars on a number of fronts, even playing chicken with a federal requirement that schools protect LGBTQ students' rights as a condition of receiving meal funding.
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