Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reportedly canceled his scheduled appearance at Republican New York Rep. Lee Zeldin’s campaign event due to an “unforeseen tragedy.”
The governor rescheduled his appearance at a $25,000-a-plate gathering in Long Island Sunday to attend a Monday memorial service for a Florida law enforcement officer killed in a car accident, the New York Post reported.
A 35-year-old driver struck Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent Jose Perez with his vehicle on Aug. 2 in Miami. Perez died of his injuries on Aug. 20, according to the Post. The driver, Javier Sandoval, was arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide.
Zeldin’s spokeswoman Katie Vincentz did not initially disclose the “unforeseen tragedy” in a Sunday statement to the Post.
“An unforeseen tragedy forced Governor DeSantis to reschedule his trip to New York,” Zeldin spokeswoman Katie Vincentz said. “While we’re rescheduling with Governor DeSantis for a later date, tonight’s fundraiser will proceed and is expected to raise almost a million dollars.”
Zeldin invited the governor to his gubernatorial campaign event in order to gain some steam in the months before his face off against Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul. The incumbent has taken shots at DeSantis and his state in recent weeks.
“I just want to say to the 1.77 million Jews who call New York home: Thank you for calling New York home,” the governor said at a Holocaust commemoration event. “Don’t go anywhere, or to another state. Florida is overrated. I shouldn’t say this, but look at the governor. It starts at the top down.” (RELATED: ‘Leftist Mindset’: DeSantis Rips Hochul, Crist For Treating Republicans Like ‘Second Class Citizens’)
DeSantis recently appeared at rallies for Republicans across the country, including Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Senate candidate Blake Masters. He also campaigned for candidates including Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance and Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano.
The governor has gained national popularity among conservatives particularly for his lenient response to COVID-19 and for taking firm against critical race theory and gender identity in Florida schools. DeSantis is seen as a possible 2024 presidential contender and even outperformed former President Donald Trump in a New Hampshire primary poll conducted in June.
Vincentz and DeSantis’ campaign did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.