Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis skipped an important fundraiser to attend the funeral of a member of his security detail who died in the line of duty.
The event DeSantis skipped was a $25,000-per-plate fundraiser for Republican Lee Zeldin, New York gubernatorial candidate. Instead, he attended the memorial service of Special Agent Jose Perez, who died last week after sustaining injuries on the line of duty.
The special agent was responding to a call in his police car on the 2nd of August before an allegedly drunk driver crashed into his vehicle. The drunk driver was identified as a 35-year-old man, Javier Sandoval.
Perez sustained several complicated injuries from this crash and was rushed to the hospital. He was in the hospital for 18 days. Unfortunately, the damages caused by the impact were too severe, and Perez gave up the ghost on the 20th of August.
Javier Sandoval was arrested after the special agent’s death, and several charges were filed against him. His charges included DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide.
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Florida first lady Casey DeSantis took to her Twitter to mourn the special agent’s death ahead of the funeral on Monday.
She tweeted, “Today we mourn the tragic loss of FDLE Special Agent Jose Perez, who died in the line of duty. With over 20 years in the U.S. armed forces & more than 30 years in law enforcement, he lived a valiant life serving our nation & state. The entire @fdlepio community is in our prayers.”
Perez’s family scheduled his memorial for Monday. This came a day after the governor was slated to be at Zeldin’s $25,000-a-plate fundraiser in New York. However, DeSantis chose to travel back to Florida on Sunday to honor the death of the special agent.
Ron DeSantis skips pricey fundraiser to attend memorial service for fallen member of his security detail https://t.co/amCdLC7lbK
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 29, 2022
Zeldin’s soiree in Oyster Bay was expected to generate about a million dollars. The event was hosted by Matthew Bruderman, an investor and a businessman, alongside his wife, Kerri Beth. The duo had previously hosted similar events for the candidate during this election cycle. Conservative commentator Dan Bongino reportedly filled in for the governor at the fundraiser.
In similar news, democrats in the Big Apple have tied attacks on the gubernatorial candidate with the Floridan governor and his state. In a scheme to reelect Gov. Kathy Hochul, they have continuously tried to link both republicans to far-right extremism.
New York Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs blasted the fundraising attempt on Friday through a press call.
He claimed, “Lee Zeldin and Ron DeSantis are not just any Republicans. They are cut from the same cloth of the far right fringe who want to roll back fundamental rights and push an extreme agenda here on New Yorkers. Both are pushing an anti-abortion agenda that is far too dangerous for New Yorkers. Both hold views that are completely out of touch with New Yorkers’ priorities and both continue to spread dangerous election conspiracy theories that threaten our democracy.”
DeSantis’s absence was initially not revealed as Zeldin’s campaign only announced that the governor would be absent due to an “unforeseen tragedy.”
His spokeswoman said, “An unforeseen tragedy forced Gov. DeSantis to reschedule his trip to New York. While we’re rescheduling with Gov. DeSantis for a later date, tonight’s fundraiser, will proceed and is expected to raise almost a million dollars.”
Zeldin later informed the fundraiser’s attendees that the deceased special agent was part of the governor’s security team, and DeSantis had to return to Florida to attend his memorial.