TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis was the center of attention on Tuesday morning as he was sworn in for a second term in office.
Also notable: the crowd of elected officials, lobbyists and national figures who attended his inauguration.
They all mingled in a cordoned-off area reserved for contributors to DeSantis’ inauguration and some of Florida’s most powerful people. Among the most prominent attendees were conservative media commentators, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and dozens of state lawmakers who are allies of the nationally ascendant Republican governor.
It was the second inaugural ceremony for DeSantis, who is widely believed to be eyeing a White House run in 2024. The first was in January 2019. At that event, two VIP attendees — Soviet-born businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman — later drew national attention after they were accused of violating federal campaign finance laws. (Those charges led to convictions of both men — Parnas was found guilty and Fruman pleaded guilty — but no charges were connected with DeSantis or his campaign.)
Here are some of the notable individuals who showed up in support of DeSantis.
Jeff Atwater, lobbyist and former Florida chief financial officer and Senate president.
Lisa Boothe, conservative radio host and Fox News contributor.
Glenn Beck, conservative radio host, loaned DeSantis a rare Bible from 1782 for Tuesday’s swearing-in.
Jeb Bush, Florida governor (1999-2007) and former presidential candidate (2016).
Cord Byrd, former state representative from Neptune Beach and current Florida Secretary of State, overseeing the state’s elections and DeSantis’ newly created elections security force.
Helen Aguirre Ferre, former DeSantis spokesperson and current executive director of the Republican Party of Florida. Ferre was a past Miami Herald op-ed columnist and host of WPBT’s “Issues with Helen Ferré.” She also worked as a senior adviser to Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Manny Diaz Jr., Florida education commissioner and former state senator from Hialeah. As a lawmaker, Diaz led the charge in expanding the charter school sector and school vouchers, which pay for students to attend private schools. He has continued to support school choice as an agency head in the DeSantis administration.
Dave Kerner, Palm Beach County Commissioner who was one of the few Democrats to endorse DeSantis’ reelection last year.
Adam Laxalt, former Nevada attorney general who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate last year. He was also DeSantis’ roommate during training at the Naval Justice School in 2005.
Joe Ladapo, Florida’s surgeon general whose contrarian views on the pandemic and coronavirus vaccines have been condemned by some doctors.
George LeMieux, former U.S. senator and former chief of staff to Gov. Charlie Crist.
Mary Mayhew, president and CEO of the Florida Hospital Association and former secretary for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration under DeSantis.
Joe Negron, former Florida Senate president (2016-2018) from Stuart and current general counsel for the private prison company The Geo Group, which operates some prisons in Florida and is a significant contributor to DeSantis’ campaigns.
Kathleen Passidomo, president of the Florida Senate from Naples.
Madeline Pumariega, president of Miami Dade College.
Paul Renner, speaker of the Florida House of Representatives from Palm Coast.
Ryan Tyson, longtime GOP political strategist.
Christina Pushaw, a campaign spokesperson for DeSantis mostly known for her firebrand social media personality.