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Light crowd awaits Ron DeSantis in Kissimmee


Florida Democrats taunt Ron DeSantis for “DeSastre” turnout

Does crowd size matter?

Florida Democratic Party officials taunted GOP counterparts Saturday by contrasting pictures of Andrew Gillum greeting large crowd with those at a poorly attended Ron DeSantis event.

“Today’s abysmal turnout for the DeSantis Campaign is par for the course for a floundering campaign that has endured setback after setback,” said Kevin Donohoe, FDP spokesman.

“It’s telling when a candidate for Governor can barely rustle up a dozen supporters for a campaign ‘rally.’ Ron DeSantis is panicked, running a low-energy campaign, and can’t find a message that resonates with voters. After a rough couple of weeks, things are getting worse—not better for Ron DeSastre.”

FDP Executive Director Juan Peñalosa sent out a link to a video of a Kissimmee rally posted today by Reuters reporter Joey Roulette. Accompanying a notice DeSantis actually ran late to the event, the video panned to a largely empty auditorium.

Meanwhile, the party sent out links to canvassing and campaign office opening events around the state.

Terrie Rizzo, FDP chair, tweeted pictures of a major crowd in Palm Beach County, where actress-activist Alyssa Milano campaigned for Gillum today.

FDP released footage of Gillum giving a “Bring It Home” stump speech to an outdoor crowd.

Agriculture Commissioner candidate Nikki Fried also addressed the major gathering.

But beyond that, regional candidates also drew attendance to events.

Congressional candidate David Shapiro held a joint canvassing event with Democratic state House candidates Tracy Pratt and Liv Coleman in decidedly Republican Manatee County, but pulled in a sizable crowd.

In Orlando, state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith dispatched a door-knocking team for his re-election campaign and for the Democratic ticket.

Peñalosa picked on the fact the Republican Party of Florida’s Twitter feed Saturday, meanwhile, pushed National Coffee Day.

Of course, that all preceded the 2018 Victory Dinner for Republicans in Lake Buena Vista. Where DeSantis and Senate candidate Rick Scott faced a more sizable crowd.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at

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