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Florida Sheriff Warns Newcomers: Don't Vote the 'Stupid Way You Did Up North'

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Welcome to the Sunshine State — just don’t vote stupid.

That was the message Polk County, Florida, Sheriff Grady Judd delivered Monday as he helped Gov. Ron DeSantis announce the state’s new law aimed at heading off the kind of major disturbances that have plagued too much of the country over the past year.

And longtime, sane residents of the perpetual political battleground state have to hope those newcomers take Judd’s advice.

Check it out here:

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“We’re a special place and there are millions and millions of people who like to come here, and quite frankly, we like to have them here,” Judd said at a news conference after the DeSantis signed the “anti-rioting” bill at a ceremony in Winter Haven, Polk County.

“So we only want to share one thing as you move in, hundreds a day: welcome to Florida, but don’t register to vote and vote the stupid way you did up north or you’ll get what they got,” Judd said.

It’s what Florida almost got only two years ago.

It’s almost been lost in the wave of publicity Republican DeSantis has been riding with Florida’s comparatively successful handling of the coronavirus pandemic, but the state that gave then-President Donald Trump an unexpectedly easy state victory in November came within a whisker of having a Democrat win the 2018 gubernatorial election.

Do you think Sheriff Judd's advice will work?

While Trump won by 3 percent in 2020, according to The New York Times, DeSantis in the 2018 race narrowly defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum — who at the time was mayor of the state capital of Tallahassee — by about 10,000 votes out of more than 8 million cast, or only four-tenths of a percentage point, according to Politico.

Two years later, Gillum ended up in rehab after being found inebriated in a Miami Beach hotel room littered with apparent methamphetamines, possible prescription drugs and an overdose victim who happened to be a gay male escort, according to the New York Post.

Combine that tawdry development with the dishonesty and cynicism of Gillum’s campaign as documented by Project Veritas, and it’s pretty apparent the state dodged a bullet on that one — no thanks to its millions of Democratic voters.

Even in the coronavirus pandemic, DeSantis has made it a priority to keep the state running as close to normal as possible — schools have been open the entire school year, for instance, and there’s no statewide mask mandate. And despite the incessant doomsaying of liberals, its approximately 34,500 reported COVID-19 deaths put it well behind mandate-heavy California (over 61,000) and New York (over 51,000), according to data from Johns Hopkins.

Considering Florida is also third in population rankings, and considering its high population of elderly residents particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus, that’s no worse than could be expected, and probably a good deal better. (DeSantis never turned the state’s nursing homes into nurseries for the deadly disease like New York’s Andrew Cuomo did in his state.)

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Meanwhile, Florida’s economy has borne up better than most other areas (and especially better than jurisdictions run by Democrats) with an unemployment rate in March of 4.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In California, the rate was 8.3 percent in March, according to the BLS. In New York, it was 8.5 percent, according to the BLS.

So Florida has dealt with the pandemic as well as most states have, and better than those of comparable size. Its weather is customarily beautiful (except for the odd hurricane), and its more than 600 miles of beaches and lack of a personal income tax make it an attractive location for potential new businesses and employers as well as tourists and Americans looking for a new state to call home.

It has a governor who’s up for re-election next year but is already being seriously talked about as a potential presidential candidate in 2024 (and is being attacked by the mainstream media that knows it).

What Florida doesn’t need is those newcomers to start bringing the kind of Democratic policies that have plagued northern counterparts like New York and New Jersey (COVID-19 death toll 25,206, according to Johns Hopkins data; March unemployment 7 .7 percent, according to the BLS).

Naturally, Judd’s message had plenty of critics in the social media cesspool of Twitter, but it resonated with plenty of other users, too.

Judd has a well-earned reputation for speaking his mind in ways that must horrify the politically correct.

He has no patience with the kind of lawlessness that ravaged the country’s cities last year and has already become a hallmark of the Biden administration this year.

And in this case, he hit the nail right on the head.

Like the ex-Californians who flee what used to be the Golden State, only to give their votes to Democrats in Texas, too many northeasterners leave their home states for Florida and bring their Democratic politics with them — and almost elect Democrats like Andrew Gillum to the state’s highest office.

With any luck, they might actually listen to Judd’s advice.

They’re welcome to the Sunshine State, of course. But maybe they could just stop voting stupid?

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.