ORLANDO (CBSMiami) – Florida’s Republican nominee for governor, Ron DeSantis is a former prosecutor so he’s used to closing arguments.
On Monday, he tried to make those arguments about why he should be Florida’s next Governor from an economic perspective.
“You want education, well guess what?” he said. “A stronger economy means we’re raising more tax revenue even at a lower rate so you can deal with education, environment, public safety, transportation.”
In Orlando, DeSantis reinforced his economic message alongside Florida Senator Marco Rubio on the final day of campaigning before Election Day.
“My race is important because you need to have a good leader as governor and build out the success we’ve had, socio-economic success and build on that,” DeSantis told a crowd.
DeSantis, a former Congressman who raced to the Republican Gubernational nomination in large part thanks to an endorsement from President Trump, has promised not to raise taxes.
His opponent Democrat Andrew Gillum wants to raise taxes on some large corporations to pay for raises for teachers.
DeSantis began his day in Jacksonville.
“I can tell you this: if we are even going into election day and Republicans vote on Tuesday, we win period,” said DeSantis.
On other issues, DeSantis has promised not to expand Medicaid. He’s promised to clean up toxic algae and continue the state’s business friendly environment.
He wants to expand school choice and vows to put more money into public school classrooms. He’s also pledged to sign pro-life legislation.
But even at events the day before Election Day it seemed that DeSantis was still introducing himself to voters and working to differentiate himself from Gillum.
“I’m the only candidate from the two of us who has done anything besides politics,” DeSantis said in Orlando. “I’m a veteran. I served in Iraq. Worked as a prosecutor, worked hard in Congress [to] put taxpayers first and so trying to show people there is a difference in leadership.”
“No one has worked harder and longer and gone to more places. He has done his part because he knows what this race is about. It is a difference between a candidate that will make Florida look like the states that people are abandoning and moving here from and a candidate that will keep us moving forward on the right track, keeping everything we’ve done right in place and making sure that we fix the problems that have emerged in our state,” said Rubio.
Broward College Political Science Professor Kevin Walsh sees the Governor’s race coming down to a choice between a strong economy and concerns about divisions throughout the country.
“Are they reacting negatively to the hot rhetoric, the culture war rhetoric of Donald Trump or are they responding positively to the economic numbers that have come out recently and that’s ultimately going to be the determining factor as to who wins,” Walsh said.
Walsh believes a strong economy is the best closing argument DeSantis can make to voters.
“Ron DeSantis has to really push home the point in his final points that is is about an economic boom, it’s a Republican boom,” Walsh said. “He’s got to tie himself to this strong, robust Florida economy.”
At an appearance in Vero Beach, they were joined by Lara Trump.
Desantis last two rallies of the day are Pinellas County and Fort Walton Beach.