Former Trump adviser Roger Stone is threatening to run to unseat Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Stone said he may be “forced” to run for governor if DeSantis does not conduct a vote audit in the state.
Trump won Florida by a comfortable margin in 2020, and DeSantis has dismissed calls for a forensic audit.
Longtime Trump ally Roger Stone is threatening to run to unseat Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis if the latter does not conduct a vote audit in the state.
“I heard governor Ron DeSantis say that Florida had the most honest election in our history in 2020, yet I know for a certainty there are one million phantom voters on the Florida voter rolls. These ‘voters’ simply do not exist,” wrote Stone in his Telegram channel to some 20,000 subscribers on October 31.
“If Gov. Ron DeSantis does not order a full audit of the Florida 2020 vote, I may be forced to seek the Libertarian Party nomination for governor in 2022. And Ron can kiss his arrogant Yalie ass goodbye #DefendFlorida,” Stone added.
Stone separately made a post on social media platform Gab on October 31 saying he may be “forced to seek the Libertarian party nomination” if DeSantis doesn’t look into his claims of voter fraud, appending the hashtag “#ByeRon” to his post.
However, Trump’s victory has not stopped local Republicans from pushing for vote audits. In September, the Lake County Republican Party from a GOP-leaning district near Orlando approved resolutions to call on every Florida state lawmaker to conduct a full audit of the 2020 vote count. My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell has also pushed the baseless claim that Trump won Florida not by 360,000 votes, but by over 1.2 million votes.
This push for a “forensic audit,” along with a recount of the 11.1 million votes cast in the state, has put DeSantis in an awkward position. The Florida governor previously claimed that Florida was a model for how states should handle election ballots.
“People are actually looking at Florida and asking the question, ‘Why can’t the states be more like Florida? Florida was able to handle 11 million ballots,'” DeSantis said during a news conference last November. “The way Florida did it, I think, inspires confidence. I think that’s how elections should be run.”
DeSantis has stuck to his guns about the integrity of the vote count in Florida.
“What we do in Florida is, there’s a pre and post-election audit that happens automatically. So, that has happened. It passed with flying colors in terms of how that’s going,” DeSantis said at an event in mid-October, per Florida local daily newspaper Sun-Sentinel. DeSantis also told the Sun-Sentinel that he thought Florida had a “great election package,” despite calls for a forensic audit.
DeSantis has expressed his intention to run for re-election in Florida’s 2022 gubernatorial election. However, he has also been widely viewed as a potential contender for the GOP presidential ticket in 2024, particularly if Trump doesn’t run.
Separately, Stone, a former Trump adviser and political strategist, was convicted in 2019 of seven felonies linked to the FBI’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, including five counts of making false statements to FBI and congressional investigators, one count of witness tampering, and one count of obstruction of justice.
Stone’s sentence was commuted by the former president last July.
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