Gov. Ron DeSantis rounds up fans at MMA facilities in Broward County

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COCONUT STREAM – Shortly after arriving on stage Friday night for a campaign rally in Coconut Creek, Gov. Ron DeSantis focused on his signature message: “Keep Florida free.”

He touted his approach to handling COVID, blasting lockdowns from other states as Florida opened. Cheering supporters greeted Governor DeSantis with roaring approval.

“Are you excited to be able to re-elect your governor for another term?” asked Governor DeSantis. “Keep Florida free.”

DeSantis set the tone. He will fight, rallying inside a mixed martial arts center. He took several photos of New York and California’s approach to the COVID pandemic, touting Florida’s choice not to mandate vaccines and keep businesses and schools open.

“It would have changed the lives of millions of people,” DeSantis said. “It would have cost hundreds of thousands of jobs, permanently bankrupted thousands of businesses and locked out millions of children.”

Voters displayed “Keep Florida Free” signs, a message that apparently motivated DeSantis supporters to the polls.

“Keeps us all free and lets us live our lives the way we want,” said an Oakland Park resident.

DeSantis then went from messaging around freedom to being dissatisfied with the wave of illegal immigration to the southwestern United States border.

“They only care when you send 50 to Martha’s Vineyard and then they get mad,” DeSantis said.

This trip, originating in Texas, was paid for with Florida taxpayers’ money.

DeSantis then focused on legislation he signed eliminating Disney’s special, self-governing tax status.

“They’ve basically run this state for decades so far,” DeSantis said.

Crowd supporters verbally supported this decision as well as the governor’s stance on education, particularly in reference to critical race theory and gender identity.

“That’s not what our kids need to learn,” Sarah McKenna, a DeSantis supporter, said at the rally.

“Very important not to indoctrinate our children,” said Grace, an event attendee. “It’s super important to me. I have three underage kids who are in the school system. We want Florida to stay free.”

Governor DeSantis said very little about his opponent Charlie Crist. Keeping Florida Free was the theme of the evening, with a particular focus on its COVID political approach. It appeared to be a voter-related message at the Broward County rally days before the gubernatorial election.

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