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Sean Hannity in Tampa today for Ron DeSantis rally

The Fox News host will campaign with the Trump-backed Republican gubernatorial candidate at 2 p.m.
In this April 12, 2018, Associated Press file photo, Fox News personality Sean Hannity attends The Hollywood Reporter's annual 35 Most Powerful People in Media event in New York. Hannity will campaign in Tampa on Monday for Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, a Republican Congressman. Photo by Evan Agostini, AP File
Published Jul. 2, 2018
Updated Jul. 2, 2018

Sean Hannity will lend his considerable conservative star power to Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Ron DeSantis when the Fox News host holds a rally for the Republican in downtown Tampa.

Hannity and DeSantis will campaign side-by-side at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel, the second stop in a three-city tour of Florida. The two first visited Fort Myers and will end the day in Pensacola.

The Tampa event begins at 2 p.m. and is scheduled to last 90 minutes.

DeSantis is trailing Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in the Republican primary by double digits, according to a Fox News poll. But he begins the final two months of the campaign with the official endorsement of President Donald Trump and now gets a boost from Hannity, a top Trump ally.

DeSantis also is now on the air with his first ads of the political season (one of which just aired during half time of the World Cup match between Brazil and Mexico on Fox).

In Fort Myers, hundreds of people stopped by a hotel to catch DeSantis and Hannity, who were also joined by Rep. Matt Gaetz. Like DeSantis, Gaetz is a frequent Fox News guest and a defender of Trump.

Florida Democrats panned the visit as evidence that DeSantis is more interested in his reputation among Fox News viewers than Floridians. Putnam has similarly criticized DeSantis for appearing more on the cable news network to talk about the Russia investigation than on the campaign trail.

READ MORE: For DeSantis, Fox News appearances equal many small donations from out-of-state viewers.

"Ron DeSantis acts more like a cable news pundit than a candidate for governor and his entire campaign feels like an audition for a primetime slot on Fox News," said state Democratic Party spokesman Kevin Donohoe. "For months, DeSantis has completely ignored the people of Florida and instead spent his time in a green room pandering to Sean Hannity and the most extreme voices on the right."

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