The great outdoors? Gov. DeSantis backs open-air Republican National Convention
Gov. DeSantis at JAXPORT. Photo via A.G. Gancarski

Gov DeSantis
RNC to a double A ballpark? An amphitheater? In August? In Florida?

Gov. Ron DeSantis, during a press conference at the Jacksonville Port Authority’s offices in Talleyrand, suggested that in terms of RNC planning, he is down for whatever, including events being held at outdoor facilities.

The comments came after national reports that outdoor venues, including the Jacksonville Jaguars football stadium and the minor league baseball park used by Jacksonville’s AA baseball team, were in play given potential complications with a full-scale indoor event.

“Safety is not negotiable,” DeSantis told media. “My view was that outside was something they were always looking at.”

“You look at some place like [Daily’s Place],” he said of the covered amphitheater in the Jacksonville Sports Complex, “especially with Florida weather, it would be very safe.”

“I think the outside would be a very good option,” DeSantis added. “There’s never been ‘we’re going to do this, we’re going to do that’. I know there’s been speculation, but there’s never been any plan submitted to me saying this is what we’re going to do.”

“I think doing something out there would be very good, and a healthy environment,” DeSantis said, noting that would be the preference of delegates as well.

“There’s a lot going on,” DeSantis added, noting that he’s “not involved … it’s more the city and the RNC than me.”

The optics of the President potentially accepting his nomination in a minor league ballpark notwithstanding, there are indeed serious questions about how much the Governor is involved in convention planning, with the latest charge coming just after his Jacksonville press availability from the New York Times.

DeSantis, goes the narrative, is freezing his donors from backing the convention due to the involvement of Susie Wiles, with whom he had a falling out soon after his 2018 campaign. Among the charges: the Governor thinks Wiles is “overrated as an operative.”

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry admitted earlier this week that the convention was having fundraising troubles, but he did not namecheck the Governor.

“As it relates to the fundraising,” Curry told reporters Tuesday in Jacksonville, “individuals have said ‘Yes, the fundraising has not been as easy as usual because we don’t have two to three years to raise the money.’”

“And obviously we’re dealing with COVID-19,” the Mayor and co-chair of the host committee added. “But the host committee … [is] successfully raising money at this time.”

Curry, who has a press avail Friday, likely will be compelled to say more given recent reports.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Sonja Fitch

    July 9, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    Lol but the health and safety our community is in the balance! Lol
    Putin loving traitor trump in a sweaty outdoor event. Never Happen! The goptrumps Orange makeup will run down his face! Looting Lenny until 14 days with no new cases would the RNC work! Cancel now and let those folks in Charlotte do it ! Serve and protect Jacksonville!

  • Frankie M.

    July 9, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    I’ve said it all along put 3K people & some big arse fans in Daily’s, pan the cameras a few times and Trump can claim it’s 30K. He’s not exactly a mathmagician. Now AG can you get a quote from Shad about the possibility of the RNC using his amphitheatre during the preseason?

    Governor thinks Wiles is “overrated as an operative.”

    She’s not overrated if she got you & Trump elected. Stop being an ingrate. You owe her your job. Same with Trump.

  • BlueHeron

    July 9, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    DeSantis stepped in it bigly with Susie Wiles. She was apparently a “super star” during the first Trump campaign and is back on board with both Trump and Kelleyanne supporting her.
    Now, he’s been pushed to the side and is no longer the golden child. He will be steamrolled by the campaign machine.

    This whole RNC business is a hot and dangerous mess. No way this can be done outside.
    Florida in August? Heat, humidity, thunderstorms, Presidential hair and makeup?
    No, Trump wants his big moment on August 27th and the R’s will move heaven and earth to make it happen. He wants balloons, banners, confetti, a packed (climate controlled) venue and cheering crowds wearing red hats and shirts.
    Let’s watch what happens on the next episodes of “As the Republicans Turn”.

Comments are closed.


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