TALLAHASSEE — The governor’s mansion got a wee bit more crowded over the weekend as Casey DeSantis, the wife of Florida’s governor, brought home the couple’s baby girl, bringing to three the number of children the young couple has.
“Ron and I are beyond blessed to welcome our new baby girl, Mamie to the world,’’ Casey DeSantis wrote in a Tweet on Monday morning. “At 7 lbs 4 oz she was the smallest of the bunch, but she is already holding her own. Madison and Mason are so excited for their new baby sister!”
The delivery came in the midst of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign to marshal the state’s response to the rapidly-spreading coronavirus pandemic. The couple kept the news of the baby’s birth quiet but friends said it was a planned delivery at a Jacksonville hospital last Thursday, when the governor had an appearance at a mobile testing site in Duval County but had no other public appearances that day. Thursday was the first day in more than a week that the governor didn’t have a daily media briefing.
The governor’s staff would not say whether Casey DeSantis, 39, was allowed to have her husband with her during the delivery.
Hospitals across the country have been restricting visitors to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus, as positive cases and deaths in Florida continued to mount.
The new arrival is a reminder that Ron DeSantis, 41, is one of the youngest governors Florida has had in decades. The couple has a history of having children during pivotal moments.
The couple’s son, Mason, was born in March 2018, just as DeSantis’ campaign for governor was gaining steam. Their daughter, Madison, was born in 2016.
Florida hasn’t had young children in the Governor’s Mansion for 50 years, and that has led to many light-hearted comments from the couple during public appearances.
DeSantis said that he had brought holy water back from the Sea of Galilee in Israel to baptize Mason on the day of his inauguration as governor.
But shortly after, he revealed that the cleaning staff at the Governor’s Mansion had accidentally thrown it away, since they kept it in a regular Zephyrhills-style water bottle.
The last time there was a newborn in the Governor’s Mansion was 1970, when Gov. Claude Kirk’s wife, Erika, gave birth to their son, Erik Henry. The Kirks also had a baby in 1968, while he was in office.
Erik Kirk, now a Tallahassee lawyer and lobbyist, said he arrived at the mansion weighing 10 lbs. and 2 oz. and his father was also dealing with a statewide crisis “albeit a teacher’s strike ain’t nothing compared to a worldwide pandemic.”
Kirk said he is happy to release the role as most recent mansion baby “to this beautiful young lady.”
He said he is confident baby DeSantis will have a longer time there than he did. Claude Kirk, Florida’s first Republican governor in 90 years, was defeated by Reubin O. Askew, a Democrat, six months after Erik was born on April 9, 1970.
He added: “One thing in common we’ll also always share: the most beautiful mothers in the land.”
Tampa Bay Times reporter Emily Mahoney contributed to this report.