The Phoenix Flyer

A big check, a lot of bragging about Gov. DeSantis and dissing about D.C.

By: - December 16, 2021 3:28 pm

Congressman Neal Dunn, at a news conference with Gov. Ron DeSantis, Dec. 16, 2021. Credit: Governor’s Facebook page.

In Washington County in Florida’s Panhandle, officials from all levels of government bragged Thursday about Gov. Ron DeSantis, and the governor and Congressman Neal Dunn dissed what’s going on in Washington, D.C.

“Just for the record, we like Washington County much better than Washington, D.C., DeSantis said during a news conference Thursday related to hurricane mitigation. He recalled his days in Congress, saying, “I say I am a recovering congressman. I think I’ve shaken most of it off.”

Recalling former colleagues who say they miss DeSantis, the governor, said, “I don’t’ miss you guys at all. I’m happy where I am.”

As of right now, DeSantis said, “I don’t get as much help anymore from Washington. It’s just the way politics works.”

(Keep in mind that DeSantis has been considered a potential presidential pick and would live in Washington D.C., and the White House if he won the election.)

The discussion started in Washington County, (not Washington, D.C.) where DeSantis announced $8.8 million for projects in seven counties that would strengthen infrastructure and mitigate damage from future hurricanes.

The Washington County share came in the form of a big check adding up to early $1 million.

After that, several officials at the news conference began bragging about DeSantis.

Congressman Neal Dunn, whose U.S. House district covers the Panhandle and the Big Bend region, said about DeSantis: “He’s setting the pace for governors all around the country.”

When he speaks to other colleagues in Washington, D.C., Dunn said, “I have to tell you they express a lot of governor envy. They wish they had my governor.”

Dunn proceeded to apologize for Washington, D.C.

“I apologize for Washington, profusely. I apologize for Washington. It is going to take an election to clean up Washington.”

State Rep. Brad Drake, who represents parts of the Panhandle area, said the governor could be called DeSantis Claus, for bringing cash to the county.

Washington County Commissioner Tray Hawkins called DeSantis a man of action.

Jimmy Patronis, the state’s Chief Financial Officer, said he was proud of his governor.

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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.

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