Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R) suspended a "woke" George Soros-backed prosecutor as he looks to recalibrate his struggling presidential campaign.
Orlando-area State Attorney Monique Worrell cried foul over her suspension, calling DeSantis a "dictator" who is just pandering to the right.
“This is simply a smokescreen for Ron DeSantis’ failing and disastrous presidential campaign,” Worrell said. “He needed to get back in the media in some positive way that would be red meat for his base."
DeSantis suspended another Soros prosecutor last year, after he pledged to not enforce the governor's restrictions on abortion.
At a press conference in Tallahassee, DeSantis declared Florida a "law and order state" and attacked Worrell's soft-on-crime record. He appointed Orange County judge Andrew Bain to Worrell's post.
It’s my duty to protect the people of Florida.
We will not tolerate a State Attorney who pursues an agenda at the expense of Floridians. Florida is a law-and-order state. As long as I’m Governor, it will stay that way. pic.twitter.com/lsguX9M3Sd
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) August 9, 2023
DeSantis accuses Worrell of failing to jail dangerous juveniles and enforce mandatory minimums for drug and gun charges.
He pointed specifically to Worrell's handling of a murder case involving a 19-year-old who killed three people, including a 9-year-old girl and a television reporter, despite having a lengthy prior rap sheet.
"The people of Central Florida deserve to have a State Attorney who will seek justice in accordance with the law instead of allowing violent criminals to roam the streets and find new victims,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis has pitched himself to Republican primary voters as a more decisive alternative to frontrunner President Trump, whom DeSantis accuses of waffling on his promise to "drain the swamp."
But DeSantis has struggled to close the gap with Trump, who maintains a double-digit lead. DeSantis is in the midst of a reshuffle, firing his campaign manager this week.
“He replaced his campaign manager yesterday and I guess today is my turn,” Worrell said.
Of course, Democrats are standing by Worrell and accusing DeSantis of playing politics.
“Make no mistake, State Attorney Worrell has done nothing wrong,” the Congressional Black Caucus said. “This abuse of power by Gov. DeSantis is not only an attack on Democratic Black leaders in Florida, but an attack on our democracy itself."