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Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the emergency operations center in Lee County. Photo by Jacob Ogles

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After turnover, Ron DeSantis says his office boasts ‘great stability’

Remarks come amid high-profile personnel changes.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said his office has been more stable than recent news reports suggest.

“We’ve had great stability,” DeSantis told reporters during a Fort Myers press conference. “We have some of the absolute strongest people working in the Governor’s office, and it’s been very, very productive.”

His remarks come after Deputy Chief of Staff James Blair announced plans to leave the Executive Office of the Governor (EOG) at the end of August.

Blair, a former top advisor to now-Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, had worked for DeSantis starting last summer before and after the gubernatorial election. He did not give a reason for his exit.

“Business will continue as usual,” he wrote in a memo. “I will meet with each of you to discuss the next steps of our ongoing work to ensure that it is transitioned seamlessly.”

The move was the most high-profile in a series of recent shake-ups in DeSantis’ office.

External affairs director Justin Caporale, scheduling director Amanda Emmons and others — Jacob O’KaneAmanda Pinto, and Robert Wilson — all left in June.

The shifts – less than a year into DeSantis’ first term as governor – led to concerns about the EOG workplace environment.

But DeSantis, who frequently includes an Alexander Hamilton quote about “energy in the executive serving as the leading character of good government,” attributed the workload of the office to the turnover.

“People see me bouncing around the state and see that I’m doing all this stuff, but what they don’t realize sometimes is all the run up that goes into that,” he said.

“If I’m out there 60, 70 hours a week doing all this stuff, they’re probably doing more than that. And I appreciate that very much.”

He offered praise to the remaining staff in the office.

“I’ve been very pleased, by and large, with the folks,” he said. “They’ve worked very, very hard. I came in and set a very frenetic pace.”

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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