Florida Newspaper’s Stark Warning About Ron DeSantis

A leading Florida newspaper has published a harsh op-ed rebuking Governor Ron DeSantis amid a clash with a suspended state attorney, including a stark warning about the prospect of him becoming president in 2024.

In August, DeSantis suspended Monique Worrell, a progressive Democrat, from the office of State Attorney with the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, alleging instances that constituted “neglect of duty and incompetence.” Worrell has, in turn, sued DeSantis and requested that the Florida Supreme Court reinstate her. During oral arguments in the case on Wednesday, attorneys for the governor said that the court had no authority to consider Worrell’s brief.

This developing case was used as the springboard for an op-ed published on Sunday by the Orlando Sentinel. The piece titled, “Florida’s high court should reinstate Monique Worrell, because truth and justice matter,” cited investigations from the newspaper’s staff finding that DeSantis’ grounds for suspending Worrell were dubious, and accused him of making the move for political gain, so as to be able to boast about the suspension before prospective GOP voters on the 2024 presidential campaign trail.

“The high court has also seen ample evidence that the governor’s strike against Worrell (and other elected officials, including former State Attorney Andrew Warren in Hillsborough County) was meant to further his own ambitions,” the piece from the paper’s editorial board reads. “DeSantis took every opportunity to brandish the heads of ‘two Democrat prosecutors’ on campaign stops and debate stages, to roars of approval from primary voters who saw him as a slightly less scandalous alternative to Donald Trump. Imagine that level of pettiness, backed by the breathtaking power of the Oval Office.”

Newsweek reached out to the DeSantis campaign via email for comment.

desnatis orlando sentinel editorial
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. A piece from the Orlando Sentinel editorial board decried DeSantis’ clash with suspended state attorney Monique Worrell.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

While DeSantis is prominent among the packed field of candidates seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, and was once considered a major GOP player by many within the party, his campaign has struggled since launching in the spring, with observers now bemoaning his overt focus on culture war issues and seeming lack of social graces. While Donald Trump’s reelection effort has regularly received 50 percent support or higher in polls, DeSantis has trailed at a distant second or third, fighting to maintain double-digit support.

Going further, the Sentinel‘s piece argued that the clash between DeSantis and Worrell represented a fight for whose voice matters in government: those of “vengeful and ambitious” leaders like DeSantis, or those of voters who backed candidates like Worrell.

“This is a fight over whose voice actually matters: One vengeful and ambitious man, or the will of countless voters — not just the nearly half-million souls in Orange and Osceola counties who cast their ballots for Worrell, but of voters across the nation who see major problems in their government and deserve the right to demand changes,” the piece continued. “This is a fight over whether the truth, and the law, matter.”