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LGBTQ Nation: Former GOP Florida congressperson says he may leave state because of DeSantis


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Former Rep. David Jolly, a Republican who represented Florida in Congress, is thinking about moving his family out of Florida due to the hostile environment created by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

DeSantis has demonized people of color and queer folks as a cornerstone of his political career and has spent his time as governor passing laws targeting both communities.


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“It’s between neighbors, it’s when you go to restaurants, when you go to schools. You’re on one side or the other, and people know it,” Jolly recently told Time.

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In two appearances on MSNBC, Jolly also spoke about why he does not think DeSantis will do well in a presidential election.

He said DeSantis’s anti-LGBTQ+, anti-immigrant, and racist acts “reflects a certain cruelty and darkness of one’s personal ethos, and I think Ron DeSantis is now going to be seen as that… not as the future of conservatism.”

He said he doesn’t think DeSantis’s culture wars will get him very far on a national scale. “What we continue to see is Republicans remain out of touch with the general election voter,” Jolly explained.

“The mistake by DeSantis in pursuing culture wars is that a culture war has two sides and it ignites both sides with equal passion.”

Jolly said DeSantis will likely do well in the Republican primary but does not believe he will earn the Republican nomination.

“But ultimately, any Republican on a culture war platform, like that of Ron DeSantis, in the general election is going to be in trouble.”

Jolly is far from the only Floridian considering leaving the state due to DeSantis’s reign of hate. A January study found that more than half of LGBTQ+ parents who live in Florida are considering moving.

This week, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ rights organization – joined Equality Florida to issue a travel advisory against visiting the state due to the numerous anti-LGBTQ+ bills that DeSantis has signed this year.

Jolly is also far from the only Republican who is disenchanted by DeSantis’s games. Members of the Florida GOP recently spoke out about their frustrations with his revenge-fueled agenda. Multiple prominent donors have also been reconsidering their support.

To many, DeSantis and his war with Disney have become nothing more than the butt of a joke. As Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell recently wrote, “Donald Trump is pounding on him like a bass drum. Donors are running away. And most mainstream Americans are either confused by or put off by his constant culture-warring.”

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