Florida-born and raised former Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.) is thinking about leaving the Sunshine State with his family because of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) authoritarian policies.
Jolly, who quit the GOP in 2018, on Sunday said DeSantis’ attacks on migrants, the LGBTQ community and African Americans leaves him feeling “unwelcome simply for my embrace of diversity of thought and as an ally” of those groups, even though he’s a “white, evangelical, straight male.”
“Why would I want to raise my kids in an environment in which they’re shamed for embracing diversity of thought and diverse cultures?” Jolly asked on MSNBC.
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“I want my children to be exposed to as much diversity as possible, and at home my wife and I can orient our family around the value set that’s right for us and prepare our kids to make decisions that are ultimately right for them as adults,” he continued. “That’s not permissible in the state of Florida. You’re shamed for it, you’re unwelcome.”
“So yes, look, we consider every day whether to raise our kids in Florida. And I think it’s representative of thousands upon thousands of Floridians here in the Sunshine State,” Jolly added.
Jolly’s comments echoed those he made to Time magazine, in which he lamented the shift Florida has undergone under DeSantis.
“It’s in the air, it’s everywhere, it’s amazing,” he said of the proliferation of so-called culture wars in the state. “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.”
Last year, Jolly warned that DeSantis would as president be “far more dangerous” than Trump.
“He’s more savvy. He’s more coy. And he doesn’t have the pitfalls that Donald Trump does,” Jolly said at the time. “He’s really kneecapping democracy right now for people of Florida, and he will successfully do it on the national stage should he get to the White House.”
DeSantis appears likely to soon announce a 2024 campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, joining Trump and other Republican contenders.