Gov. DeSantis endorsed by Florida's police chiefs and largest police union, both of which previously endorsed Trump in 2020

July 25, 2023
Ben Marquis

During the 2020 election cycle, former President Donald Trump enjoyed the endorsement and support of two major police union organizations in Florida -- the Florida Police Chiefs Association and the Florida Police Benevolent Association.

Unfortunately for the former president, he has now lost the support of both of those organizations as the two groups have now formally endorsed their home state's Gov. Ron DeSantis to be the Republican nominee for president in 2024, the Washington Examiner reported.

Florida's police chiefs endorse DeSantis

On Monday, the Florida Police Chiefs Association announced that its second-ever presidential endorsement for the 2024 presidential election -- the first-ever endorsement went to then-President Trump in 2020 -- was given in support of Florida's Republican Gov. DeSantis.

"The Florida Police Chiefs Association is honored to fully endorse Governor DeSantis for President of the United States of America," FPCA President Keith Touchberry said. "From his commitment to safe communities and defending the rule of law, to his unwavering support for the profession of law enforcement through better pay and recruiting bonuses, Governor DeSantis backs the blue."

Similar statements were issued by other top FPCA leaders, including 1st vice president Charles 'Chuck' Broadway, who said, "The Florida Police Chiefs Association is proud to endorse an extraordinary public servant like Governor DeSantis. His first responder recognition programs are making a difference, and we know he will take that same results-oriented approach to Washington."

They were joined by 2nd vice president Charlie Vazquez, who stated, "Governor DeSantis cares about the men and women who risk their lives to protect the public, and he’s demonstrated that concern by making sure agencies have the resources to recruit and retain the most capable, professional officers."

Likewise, FPCA 3rd vice president Robert Bage chimed in: “With crime at a record 50-year low, Florida is a leader in public safety due to Governor DeSantis’ steadfast support of our law enforcement officers. We look forward to continuing our work with him on behalf of the people of Florida."

Florida's largest police union backs DeSantis

Almost exactly one month prior to that announcement, the Florida Police Benevolent Association, which had previously endorsed then-President Trump's re-election bid in 2020, revealed in a press release that Gov. DeSantis would receive its endorsement in the 2024 election cycle.

In a statement, FBPA President John Kazanjian asserted that the "increased crime rates" in major cities across the country were evidence of the failure of the "ideological experiment of defunding the police and scapegoating law enforcement for America’s social problems."

"Now more than ever, Americans must elect the one candidate for president who has a proven track record in enhancing public safety and investing in the essential men and women who help maintain public safety every day. For the over 30,000 men and women in the Florida Police Benevolent Association, the choice for us could not be clearer," he continued.

"Governor Ron DeSantis and his administration have made Florida a law-and-order state, by investing in and supporting the thousands of law enforcement officers, who serve on the front lines in keeping our communities safe and secure," the police union boss said, and after highlighting some of the governor's accomplishments, noted that "Governor DeSantis has made Florida a destination for all Americans to live safely and freely."

"He is one of the most effective Governors in the nation and he will take his proven track record to the White House, where he will continue to have the backs of law enforcement officers and make public safety a top priority," Kazanjian concluded. "For these reasons, the Florida PBA is proud to endorse our Governor, Ron DeSantis, for President of the United States and we will do all that we can to help him prevail."

A clear shift of the "law and order candidate" title

During the 2020 election, which followed a summer of nationwide unrest in the form of Democrat-supported anti-cop protests that at times devolved into destructive riots and lawless looting, then-President Trump was unquestionably the "law and order" candidate in comparison to his challenger, current President Joe Biden.

The situation has changed dramatically since then, however, as Gov. DeSantis has achieved tangible results in bolstering Florida's law enforcement forces while Trump, regardless of how unfair or politically motivated the charges may be, has since been saddled with multiple criminal indictments, likely with more on the way, and remains unable to shake the connection between himself and the lawless Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021 in which some of his supporters criminally fought against law enforcement officers while protesting the 2020 election results.

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