Florida GOP ‘Fed Up’ With DeSantis’ Pre-2024 Agenda: ‘We’re Not The Party of Cancel Culture’

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - 2023/04/17: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis holds a press conference at the Reedy Creek Administration Building in Lake Buena Vista. DeSantis announced legislative action to n... LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - 2023/04/17: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis holds a press conference at the Reedy Creek Administration Building in Lake Buena Vista. DeSantis announced legislative action to nullify the agreement between the Reedy Creek Improvement District and Walt Disney World which was designed to permit Disney to retain control of its theme park and surrounding property. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Tallahassee lawmakers are frustrated with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) as he tries to use this year’s legislative session to score political points with MAGA voters ahead of his expected presidential run, Politico first reported.

Republicans in Florida’s state legislature, which currently has a GOP supermajority, have reportedly begun stalling some of the governor’s legislative priorities, like taking aim at Disney, as their own bills languish in the background. 

“We’re not the party of cancel culture,” an anonymous GOP legislator told Politico. “We can’t keep doing this tit for tat.”

“I think our Republican colleagues are done,” state Sen. Jason Pizzo (D) told the outlet. “I think they are fed up. There’s obviously still some true believers and there’s some very loyal and allegiant individuals and groups … They would like him to hurry up and announce and start focusing exclusively on other stuff other than here.”

The governor has used the legislative session to usher through bills that could bolster a future presidential platform: Bills banning abortion after six weeks, letting people conceal-carry guns without a permit, and loosening death-penalty requirements have all passed in recent weeks. 

Former state senator Jeff Brandes (R) told the outlet that legislators are “deeply frustrated” by Desantis’ zeal for using his party’s supermajority in the statehouse to make headlines and get attention at a national level ahead of an expected 2024 announcement.

“They are not spending any time on the right problems,” he said. “Most legislators believe that the balance of power has shifted too far and the Legislature needs to re-establish itself as a coequal branch of government.”

But House Speaker Paul Renner (R) rushed to the governor’s defense. “We’re doing the very things we campaigned on, we’re governing as we campaigned,” he told Politico. “If people are frustrated it’s probably because we had a ton of bills that the governor’s put forward that we in House and Senate leadership have put forward… There’s going to be a ton of other bills that are coming forward.”

DeSantis’ waning popularity isn’t just isolated to the statehouse. As Trump began notching endorsements from Florida’s GOP congressional delegation, the governor’s team contacted a handful of House Republicans to ask them to hold off on any endorsements in the near future.

The tactic hasn’t been super effective: So far only one of the targeted Republicans, Rep. Laurel Lee, has endorsed DeSantis while two of them, Reps. Greg Steube and Vern Buchanan, have opted for Trump. According to TIME, Reps. Gus Bilirakis and Carlos Gimenez are planning to join them. At least one other Florida Republican, Rep. Brian Mast, has announced that he plans to endorse Trump and on Thursday morning, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) released a statement declaring he’s backing the former president as well.

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