Governor DeSantis to be sworn in Tuesday for second term

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will be sworn in for his second term Tuesday morning, but his speech is expected to carry a different tone than the one he gave when he first took office in 2019.

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When Governor DeSantis took office in 2019 vowed to cut bureaucratic red tape, lower health care costs and protect Florida’s environment.

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“For Florida the quality of our water and environmental surroundings are foundational to our prosperity as a state,” said DeSantis in 2019.

UNF political science professor Dr. Michael Binder explained, the incoming governor presented himself as a moderate willing to work across the aisle.

“Very different the last couple of years, right?” said Binder.

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Binder said while some of the themes from that first speech still come up from time to time when Governor DeSantis speaks, his overall tone has changed quite a bit since those early days of his administration.

Binder pointed out in 2019, DeSantis had just eked out a razor slim victory, but now coming off a historic landslide win over Democrat Charlie Crist, DeSantis is looking at the possibility of running for the nation’s highest office.

“This inauguration speech is going to be targeted not toward your average Floridian. You know, it’s pretty clear that this is very much, we are going to be running for President and we need to speak to the Republican base across the country because, guess what, yeah, there’s going to be a lot of people from Florida watching, but there’s gonna be a lot of people from across the country watching too,” said Binder.

In his address, DeSantis will likely layout his agenda for his second term.

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Issues expected to come up include parental rights, loosening gun laws and possibly stricter abortion regulations - all social issues State Representative Angie Nixon (D-Jacksonville) would rather see the state put in the rearview mirror.

“I unfortunately think he is going to use this upcoming legislative session to in fact create more culture wars that are divisive for all Floridians,” said Nixon.

Binder predicts while DeSantis is highly unlikely to mention a run for President directly, the nation will be watching for clues to learn what a DeSantis presidential run may look like.

“I think you’re going to hear a lot about the Free State of Florida and how that can be a blueprint for the rest of the country,” said Binder.

Action News Jax will be in Tallahassee on Tuesday to cover the inauguration.

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Tickets for the public ranged from $25,000 to $1 million for VIP packages.

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