Roger Stone says he'll run for Florida governor if Ron DeSantis doesn't conduct a vote audit in the state, where Trump won

roger stone trump cpac
Roger Stone arrives for the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, on February 27. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • Roger Stone, a former Trump advisor, threatened to run to unseat Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.

  • Stone said he may be "forced" to run for governor if DeSantis doesn't audit the vote in the state.

  • Trump won Florida in 2020, and DeSantis has dismissed calls for a forensic audit.

Roger Stone, a longtime Trump ally, threatened to run to unseat Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida if DeSantis does not conduct an audit of the 2020 election in the state.

"I heard governor Ron DeSantis say that Florida had the most honest election in our history in 2020, yet I know for a certainty there are one million phantom voters on the Florida voter rolls. These 'voters' simply do not exist," Stone wrote on his Telegram channel to some 20,000 subscribers on Sunday.

"If Gov. Ron DeSantis does not order a full audit of the Florida 2020 vote, I may be forced to seek the Libertarian Party nomination for governor in 2022. And Ron can kiss his arrogant Yalie ass goodbye #DefendFlorida," Stone added.

Stone also said on the social-media platform Gab on Sunday that he "may be forced to seek the Libertarian party nomination" if DeSantis doesn't look into his claims of voter fraud, appending the hashtag #ByeRon.

There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. And Donald Trump won Florida, defeating Joe Biden by about 3 percentage points.

But Trump's victory in the state has not stopped local Republicans from pushing for audits. In September, the GOP in Lake County, near Orlando, approved resolutions to call on every state lawmaker to conduct an audit of the 2020 election. MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has also pushed the baseless claim that Trump won Florida by about three times as many votes.

This push for a "forensic audit" and a recount of the 11.1 million votes cast in the state has put DeSantis in an awkward position, Politico reported. He said last year that Florida was a model for how states should handle ballots.

"People are actually looking at Florida and asking the question 'Why can't the states be more like Florida? Florida was able to handle 11 million ballots,'" DeSantis said during a news conference last November, adding: "The way Florida did it, I think, inspires confidence. I think that's how elections should be run."

DeSantis has been adamant about the integrity of the vote count in Florida.

"What we do in Florida is, there's a pre- and post-election audit that happens automatically. So, that has happened. It passed with flying colors in terms of how that's going," DeSantis reportedly said at an event in mid-October, adding that he thought Florida had a "great election package."

DeSantis has said he intends to run for reelection in 2022. He has also been widely viewed as a potential contender for the GOP presidential ticket in 2024, particularly if Trump doesn't run.

Stone, a former Trump advisor and political strategist, was convicted in 2019 of seven felonies linked to the FBI's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 US election: five counts of making false statements to FBI and congressional investigators, one count of witness tampering, and one count of obstruction of justice. Trump commuted Stone's sentence in July 2020.

Read the original article on Business Insider