During a high-stakes debate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sharply criticized California Governor Gavin Newsom for his state’s governance, which DeSantis claims has driven residents, including Newsom’s own family members, to relocate to Florida. The debate, which unfolded under the spotlight with Fox News host Sean Hannity in Alpharetta, Georgia, saw DeSantis take a dig at his counterpart by recounting an encounter with a Californian transplant who praised Florida’s governance and then revealed himself to be Newsom’s father-in-law.
DeSantis seized the opportunity to underscore the migration trend from California to Florida, noting that even individuals closely related to Newsom are part of the exodus. U.S. Census Bureau figures reinforce DeSantis’s point, showing a consistent decline in California’s population over the past three years, with a notable drop of nearly 600,000 residents since 2020. The debate further highlighted this issue, with Fox News revealing that Newsom’s in-laws had themselves become Florida residents in 2020, opting for a multimillion-dollar residence in Naples.
The debate between the two governors was intense, with immigration, public safety, and reproductive rights dominating the conversation. DeSantis’s pointed remarks about Newsom’s family migration story added a personal dimension to the broader discourse on state governance and policy outcomes.