An open-government group Monday filed a lawsuit seeking to force Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration to release additional records about a controversial decision last month to fly migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

With A Double Pick, Florida Gov. DeSantis Flips Governing Commission In Democratic-Dominant Palm Beach County

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has flipped one of the most liberal governing boards in the state.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has flipped one of the most liberal governing boards in the state.

On Thursday evening, DeSantis named Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner as the interim head of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Kerner, if approved by the state Cabinet later this month, would replace longtime director Terry Rhodes. Kerner’s appointment seems assured with all Republicans in the Cabinet, even though he is a Democrat.

But in Kerner’s place, the Republican governor selected Republican lawyer Michael Barnett of Boca Raton, chairman of the Palm Beach GOP. 

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As the Post reported, “The addition of Barnett to the county commission changes the dynamic of the board, which already saw changes after the November midterm election.”

“In formerly traditionally blue Palm Beach County, two Republicans, Marci Woodward, and Sara Baxter, won seats on the commission. Those victories changed the commission from a 6-1 Democratic majority to a 4-3 one,” the Post added.

“With Barnett, the commission would now be majority Republican: Maria Marino, who represents northern Palm Beach County, is the other Republican on the seven-member board. The three Democrats are Gregg Weiss, Maria Sachs, and Mack Bernard.”

The County Commission directly governs about 661,000 of Palm Beach County’s 1.5 million residents, as the rest of the citizens live in incorporated areas.

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In November, DeSantis won the Democratic stronghold by roughly 16,000 votes over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist.

The incumbent did so even though Democrats had about 108,000 more registered voters.

Kerner is a former police officer and special prosecutor.

He was one of the few Democrats who publicly endorsed DeSantis over Crist. Kerner also defended DeSantis against fake liberal media reports about the state’s response to COVID-19.   

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