Advertisement
  1. Florida Politics
  2. /
  3. The Buzz

DeSantis pick as running mate? Miami state legislator Jeanette Nuñez

Nuñez, a Kendall-area politician who was first elected to the state House in 2010, would be the first Cuban-American woman to serve as the state’s second in command.
Florida state Rep. Jeanette Nunez of Miami will be the running mate for Ron DeSantis, the Republican candidate for governor. [Miami Herald]
Florida state Rep. Jeanette Nunez of Miami will be the running mate for Ron DeSantis, the Republican candidate for governor. [Miami Herald]
Published Sep. 5, 2018
Updated Sep. 6, 2018

Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis has picked Miami Rep. Jeanette Nuñez as his running mate, the Miami Herald has confirmed.

Nuñez, a Kendall-area politician who was first elected to the state House in 2010, would be the first Cuban-American woman to serve as the state's second in command if she and DeSantis are elected in November. She recently served as Speaker pro tempore under House Speaker Richard Corcoran.

Nuñez's selection was first reported by Politico. The Herald confirmed her selection through a source familiar with the campaign's vetting process.

Nuñez, 46, was hesitant to agree, but was swayed by an 11th hour pitch from U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, according to Politico.

Neither the DeSantis campaign nor Nuñez would comment Wednesday evening.

Nuñez's selection is expected to be announced at a GOP unity rally in Orlando on Thursday. DeSantis is scheduled to visit Little Havana later in the day to discuss his push in Congress to indict Cuban leader Raul Castro for the shoot-down of two Brothers to the Rescue planes in 1996.

Florida law requires that gubernatorial candidates nominate a running mate by 5 pm on the ninth day after the primary election, meaning Thursday.. Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum is said to be considering former Congresswoman Gwen Graham and state Sen. Lauren Book, among others.

During the 2016 presidential primary, Nuñez, who was supporting Rubio, said Donald Trump supports the Klu Klux Klan on Twitter. DeSantis won his primary after Trump made an aggressive pitch to Republican voters to support the congressman over agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam.

"Wake up Florida voters, Trump is the biggest con-man there is," Nuñez tweeted. "#nosubstance #anti-Israel #supportsKKK VOTE Marco Rubio #RUBIO.

The Florida Democratic Party was quick to weigh in.

"A Ron DeSantis-Jeanette Nuñez administration would be a disaster for Florida women and working families," said Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo in a blast email. "DeSantis has selected a lobbyist who supports his agenda of denying health care to hundreds of thousands, destroying public schools, and taking away women's health freedom. Nuñez has played a key role in Tallahassee's war on women and been a staunch opponent of working families. She voted for mandatory ultrasounds, to defund Planned Parenthood, and to restrict a woman's right to choose. As a Representative, she voted for a $1.3 billion cut to public schools and funneling taxpayer money away from public schools and to unaccountable private organizations. Together, DeSantis and Nuñez will enact an extreme agenda that undermines public education, and denies health care to 800,000 Floridians."

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a loyal DeSantis supporter throughout the primary, said Nuñez would make a great choice on the ticket with DeSantis.

"I served with Jeanette Nuñez for 6 years in the State House. I have long extolled her her virtues, and I think she would make a great pick for lieutenant governor," Gaetz said, adding that he could not confirm himself that the pick is official.

Nuñez's selection is expected to be announced at a GOP unity rally in Orlando on Thursday. DeSantis is scheduled to visit Little Havana later in the day to discuss his push in Congress to indict Cuban leader Raul Castro for the shoot-down of two Brothers to the Rescue planes in 1996.

"I think tomorrow is going to be a big day," Gaetz said.

Nuñez's potential nomination also drew support from Republicans who backed Putnam during the primary, including sitting lieutenant governor Carlos López-Cantera, and more moderate Republicans like Miami Rep. Carlos Curbelo.

"Great choice Ron DeSantis!" Curbelo tweeted. "Jeanette Nuñez is a stellar pick. Very exciting news for the South Florida community.""

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

  1. Tampa Bay Tech, still missing star sophomore Janiah Barker, falters in the region final Friday, but if healthy should make another deep playoff run next season.
  2. After its 3-1 victory over Westminster Academy of Fort Lauderdale on Friday, the Shorecrest girls soccer team  will be playing in the program's first state final next week in Deland.
  3. Land O' Lakes may have fallen one game short of a state final, but, as coach Jen Craven says: “We have some good kids coming from the local middle school. Looking forward, I don’t see any reason why you won’t see us in the show next year."
  4. Monte Kiffin, shown here talking to safety John Lynch during a preseason game against the Jaguars on Aug. 16, 2002, this season will be the 14th inductee into the Bucs Ring of Honor.
  5. Carrollwood Day's Weeyah McGill, seen here during last year's state tournament, was dominant Friday against Seffner Christian.
  6. Plant senior Honor Culpepper, seen here earlier this season, scores a game-high 20 points in Friday's Class 7A region final victory.
  7. Surveillance footage shows thieves breaking into the Trulieve medical marijuana dispensary on U.S. 19, according to Clearwater police. The break in happened less than an hour after a similar burglary at a store on Clearwater Beach.
  8. Coach Karrmayne King hugs Keswick Christian player Marissa McCauley after the Crusaders soundly defeat Hernando Christian to advance to state.
  9. Tanner Donald Hackman, 22, of Clearwater, faces charges of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a crash involving death, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. This photo was taken after a 2018 arrest.
  10. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Las Vegas.
  11. USF athletic director Michael Kelly (left) and first-year football coach Jeff Scott have confirmed the Bulls' spring football game will remain on campus. [JOEY KNIGHT | TAMPA BAY TIMES]
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement