GULF COUNTY, Fla. (The Hill) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Friday warned of a coming “Cold War” between Florida and Georgia if Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams wins the gubernatorial election in the state.
During a press conference in Gulf County, in Florida’s northwest, DeSantis referenced the ongoing Master’s Tournament in Georgia, using it as an apparent segue into discussing the state’s elections.
DeSantis said he “really appreciates our Georgians” but voters would have to “take care” of the 2022 election to prevent Abrams from winning.
“If Stacey Abrams is elected governor of Georgia, I just want to be honest, that will be a cold war between Florida and Georgia,” he said. “I can’t have [former Cuban communist leader Raul] Castro to my south and Abrams to my north, that would be a disaster. So I hope you guys take care of that and we’ll end up in good shape.”
The Hill has reached out to DeSantis’s office for comment.
Abrams, a former state House minority leader who previously ran for governor, is running uncontested in the Democratic primary field but faces a competitive general election against Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and former Sen. David Perdue (R).
According to the latest polling, Abrams trails Kemp by a 51% to a 44% margin and Perdue by 49% to 44% margin. Kemp narrowly beat out Abrams for the governorship in 2018.
DeSantis has become a major force in the Republican party who is flirting with a 2024 presidential run.
The Democratic candidate and Republican governor couldn’t be further apart on many issues, including gun control, immigration and the LGBTQ community.
DeSantis just signed the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law, which prohibits the discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation from kindergarten through third grade, which critics say marginalizes trans and LGBTQ youth, while Abrams’ campaign site says she wants to “nurture and protect” LGBTQ children.