Florida holds hottest inauguration since 1971

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By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service
January 8, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- The Inaugural Ceremony was hot, both in degrees and emotion, as passion both for and against new Governor Ron DeSantis ran high.

The sun beamed down on Inauguration Day at the Florida Capitol Tuesday morning. With temperatures in the low 70s, it was the hottest inauguration since Reuben Askew became Florida’s 37th governor in 1971.

It was a high of 39 when former Governor Jeb Bush took office in 1999.

As for the rising temps?

"You think this is global warming? It's definitely warmer,” said Bush.

It wasn’t just the temperatures running hot; among the several thousand attendees, some showed up to passionately oppose the new governor. Some displayed political signs promoting issues they care about, like abortion or fracking.

“We want to make sure that high on his list is his promise to ensure that a fracking ban happens this time, this session,” said V Miller with Rethink Energy Florida.

Members of the group Dream Defenders watched from outside the gates.

“We're here to make sure he's not playing games,” said Dream Defenders member Rachel Gilmer. "You know, he can't talk a game that he's for working people, that he's for Floridians, when he isn't. So, we're here to actually hold him accountable and make sure that people know that this governor is not for you.”

Others, including Pastor R.B. Holmes, who gave the closing prayer at the ceremony, were more optimistic.

“This is a young governor,” said Reverend Holmes. "He's trying to bring this community together, to stick together. I think he can do it if he continues to reach out and hold out the olive branch and he's doing that.”

While opinions may have been divided, Governor DeSantis spoke of overcoming the tribalism in the state saying, “We will see that rising sun.”

The new administration is expected to hit the ground running, with appointments expected throughout the week and the first clemency meeting scheduled for Friday.

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