Democrats bash Gov. DeSantis over Gadsden official who resigned amid KKK costume controversy

jeffery moore ART
Jeffery Moore was the only GOP County Commissioner in the majority-Black county.

The Florida Democratic Party is hoping to keep the pressure on Gov. Ron DeSantis for appointing a Gadsden County Commissioner who later resigned amid a controversy over a Ku Klux Klan costume he purportedly once wore.

Last month, Commissioner Jeffery Moore resigned after photos emerged of someone local residents believe is him in a KKK costume, possibly at a Halloween party years earlier.

DeSantis appointed Moore, a fellow Republican, in late July to replace a retiring Democrat. But within two months, Moore had resigned from office and from the District 2 General Election ballot over the image.

“At this point, nobody should be surprised that this extreme Governor who wants total control over women’s reproductive health care decisions, even in cases of rape and incest — and who still refuses to condemn the neo-Nazis who follow him like groupies, and who promoted an antisemite in his campaign ads — would install a man who parades in a Klan uniform to a position of power in Florida’s Blackest county,” Florida Democratic Party spokesperson Kobie Christian said in a statement.

“Hate finds haven with Ron DeSantis, and it’s clear his moral compass is broken. Floridians deserve so much better.”

Gadsden County is Florida’s only majority-Black county.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, local religious leaders demanded Moore come forward to address the allegations.

Democrats have repeatedly condemned DeSantis for associating with people who have been accused of antisemitism and racism. Most recently, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist criticized the DeSantis campaign for including in one TV ad a pastor who some say has made antisemitic comments.

Neither the Governor’s Office nor Moore have publicly commented on the photograph or the circumstances of his resignation. DeSantis’ Office and gubernatorial campaign did not immediately return Florida Politics’ request for comment.

Moore filled a seat vacated by Chairman Anthony Viegbesie, a Democrat. Viegbesie represented District 2, a Democratic-leaning seat that stretches from north Quincy to west Havana.

Moore, of Havana, was the only Republican running for District 2 in November and the only Republican currently serving the Board of County Commissioners.

He is the past Chairman of the Gadsden Soil and Water Conservation District, is a member of the National Association of Conservation District’s Board of Directors and is the immediate past President of the Association of Florida Conservation Districts.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Charlie Crist

    October 3, 2022 at 5:34 pm

    Vote for me. These far right maniacs, terrorists, and shills for the super rich have done enough damage to this country. They need a big smack.

  • PeterH

    October 3, 2022 at 7:21 pm


    Abstaining from debates, voter suppression, cultural wars, racist dog whistles, controlling women’s reproductive health decisions and irrational gun legalization are all weapons in the Republican arsenal to win elections.


  • Betsy

    October 4, 2022 at 3:31 pm

    How was DeSantis know about a party costume ?? DeSantis is a wonderful governor regardless of political party. I am a registered Democrat but DeSantis is the BEST governor this State has ever had !! You guys need to find something real….oh wait….there is nothing to find !!

  • It's Complicated

    October 5, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    How would a governor or his staff be aware of such a thing short of directly asking the question, “At any time in your life, have you ever been photographed in a KKK uniform, a CSA uniform, wearing ‘blackface,’ naked, drunk, consuming illegal substances, or in any other compromising position?”

    I did appointments for a governor several decades ago in the health and human services realm (including rolling fingerprints for a FBI background check), and about 1/4 of our applicants came back with convictions related to civil rights, anti-war, or anti-nuclear protests. Folks disclosed these convictions on the applications, because it was a verifiable event, AND because WE ASKED.

    When I was in elementary school in the 1960s, my favorite Halloween costume several years in a row was being a Confederate Infantry Sergeant. Wonder if a photo of me in that costume would disqualify me from public office, today?

Comments are closed.


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