Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is apparently not only an unrepentant racist but a bully as well. Now, his former employees are speaking out about the harassment he and his wife engaged in.
On Friday, Politico reported that about a dozen former staffers that worked with the governor had formed a support group to cope with the terrible experiences they endured under him and his wife, Casey DeSantis. The group meets regularly to share horror stories about their time working with the Republicans.
DeSantis, who represented the sixth district in the U.S. House of Representatives at one time, was known for being poor at keeping staff. He had one of the highest rates of turnover in a House office. In 2019, shortly after he began his gubernatorial role, he fired five staffers within six months. An anonymous staffer appeared on a blog to lambast one fired employee and save face. However, when his Chief of Staff left, people took notice.
“We have great stability,” DeSantis said when he was pressed about the turnover by the Northwest Florida Daily News at the time. He said was pleased with the performance of his staff and lauded them for their hard work. But, that may have been lip service, as the behavior that his staffers have described sounded nothing like an appreciative politician but workplace harassment.
One staffer summed it up succinctly. “Loyalty and trust, that is not a currency he deals in. It’s him and Casey. But everyone else is like a disposable piece of garbage.”
The couple blamed the staffers when DeSantis appeared on Fox News and used racially charged language while running against Democrat Andrew Gillum. After the social media fallout, they tongue-lashed his staff and hired new advisers.
Perhaps one of the worst details of working for DeSantis revealed him having a Florida Republican Party official fire another staffer who had cancer and just returned from medical leave for surgery. No reason was given for the decision nor the unprofessional way it was handled.
This potentially damning news comes as conservatives are trying to plan their next steps for upcoming elections. There has been chatter that Ron DeSantis may be the GOP’s great hope for the presidency in 2024. Some Republican leaders see him as a nicer or more palatable version of Trump, but it sounds like they are replacing one bully with another.