TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — Florida Democrats are crediting the Sunshine State’s significance in next year’s election for President Donald Trump’s decision to declare himself a full-time Florida man.
Leaders of the Florida Democratic Party said Trump’s decision to declare his Palm Beach residence as his permanent home is symbolic of the magnitude of Florida and its 29 Electoral College votes in the 2020 election.
“Donald Trump becoming a Florida man just shows that Florida is important,” Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Juan Peñalosa told reporters during a conference call Friday morning.
The call was focused on state Democrats’ voter registration efforts in Florida, a critical swing state, with a year to go until the 2020 election.
“We have urgency right now,” Peñalosa said. “Him changing his voter registration just shows that he believes, as we do, that the path to the White House goes through Florida.”
Thursday night, Trump confirmed a New York Times report that the president had filed documents in Palm Beach County Circuit Court declaring his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach as his and First Lady Melania Trump’s permanent residence.
“1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House, is the place I have come to love and will stay for, hopefully, another 5 years as we MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, but my family and I will be making Palm Beach, Florida, our Permanent Residence,” Trump said in a series of tweets.
With no state income tax, Florida has long been a lure to affluent individuals. In addition, Trump’s 2017 tax overhaul, which capped the amount of state and local tax deductions at $10,000, has been credited with spurring wealthy homeowners in high-tax states, such as New York, to relocate to Florida.
“I cherish New York, and the people of New York, and always will, but unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state,” Trump tweeted. “Few have been treated worse. I hated having to make this decision, but in the end it will be best for all concerned. As President, I will always be there to help New York and the great people of New York. It will always have a special place in my heart!”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo seemed to relish the president’s relocation.
“Good riddance. It’s not like @realDonaldTrump paid taxes here anyway… He’s all yours, Florida,” the governor, a Democrat, tweeted Thursday night.
Since taking office, Trump has spent little time at his prior primary residence, Trump Tower in New York. Meanwhile, New York prosecutors have been seeking eight years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns.
In his residency paperwork, Trump listed the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey and the White House as secondary residences.
Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo poked fun at the president in a press release Friday morning.
“He is not the first person to move to Florida to retire,” she said.
(©2019 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida’s Jim Turner contributed to this report.)