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Clockwise from top left: Ron DeSantis, Casey DeSantis, Jeannette Nunez, Ashley Moody and MattCaldwell.

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Ron DeSantis, Ashley Moody, Matt Caldwell run supplies to Panama City

Statewide Republican candidates today banded together for a supply drive today for hurricane-struck areas of the state.

Gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, his running mate Jeannette Nunez, Attorney General candidate Ashley Moody and Agriculture Commissioner candidate Matt Caldwell shared pictures and video today as they gathered supplies in Live Oak and ran them up to Bay County.

DeSantis shared a video on Twitter explaining the need to help individuals struck by the storm. He said two U-Haul trucks filled with water, food and other supplies now accompany his campaign team up north.

“Michael was really a devastating storm,” he said. “It walloped those areas, so people need assistance now.”

Nunez said all the candidates lived through previous storms, whether Hurricane Irma in 2017 or major storms like Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

“We’re really looking forward to providing whatever relief efforts we can,”

Caldwell noted Michael was “every bit as devastating” as legendary storms like Andrew. He encouraged anyone who was capable of helping of going to VolunteerFlorida.org to offer assistance.

Indeed, Colorado State University reports that Michael when it made landfall had lower barometric pressure than Andrew or Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as reported by USA Today.

The storm also struck the state less than a month before the mid-term elections in Florida, taking many politicians off the campaign trail entirely to deal with other official functions, including Republican U.S. Senate candidate and sitting Gov. Rick Scott and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, along with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.

Patronis right now is working in Panama City, and Moody said the other statewide Republican candidates planned to make a concerted effort to connect with him on the trip.

“Some of us have family in the Panhandle, and between our stops, we will check in on their welfare,” said Moody.

DeSantis said campaign routes had been converted into supply runs to gather goods to be delivered to Northwest Florida. A father of two small children, he stressed the need to get baby supplies to Northwest Florida.

The Republican Party of Florida said the campaign planned to drop off supplies at Rutherford High School in Panama City.

The party separately planned to drop off two shipments of relief supplies at Grayton Beer Company in Santa Rosa Beach.

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 jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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