Tensions are reportedly high between former Florida Republican Gov. and now Sen. Rick Scott and current Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis following a difficult transition period in Tallahassee.
Scott reportedly threw a party on his last day in the governor’s mansion after the DeSantis family had already moved in. Scott’s decision to host 48 people at a going-away party irked some DeSantis allies. (RELATED: Ron DeSantis Wins Florida Gubernatorial Election After Andrew Gillum Concedes Again)
“It shows how inconsiderate the Scott administration was,” Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz said, according to Politico.
In addition to throwing the party, Scott also made more than 70 new appointments within the last 72 hours of his governorship without discussing them with DeSantis, who has already made clear his plans to rescind some of the appointments.
DeSantis was sworn in as the new governor of Florida on Monday, while Scott was sworn in as the state’s junior senator later that evening. Scott reportedly left DeSantis’ inauguration before the latter’s speech to fly to Washington D.C.
Having both swearing-in ceremonies on the same day created some awkwardness within the Florida Republican party, with some insiders speculating to Politico that Scott tried to nudge local Republicans to attend his event instead, with one consultant even going as far as to say that “You’re dead to Rick,” if you decided to attend DeSantis’s swearing-in ceremony instead. (RELATED: Incumbent Bill Nelson Concedes Florida Senatorial Election To Rick Scott After Contentious Recount)
The 66-year-old Scott and the 40-year-old DeSantis campaigned together ahead of the 2018 midterms, with both races being among the most closely watched and hotly contested in the country. But both have now reportedly become distant as they are expected to become top contenders for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, when President Donald Trump will either be term limited or a Democratic president will be running for a second term.
Scott for his part denied a rift between the two sunshine state governors in a statement through a spokesperson.
“Senator Scott and Governor DeSantis have a great working relationship,” Scott spokesman Chris Hartline said. “Senator Scott looks forward to partnering with Governor DeSantis to fight for Florida families.”