Probably the most senior Democrat in public workplace in Florida has mentioned she is not going to adjust to Governor Ron DeSantis’s want that flags be flown at half-staff in honor of Rush Limbaugh, the hard-right speak radio “shock jock” who died final week from most cancers.
“We is not going to have fun hate speech, bigotry, and division,” the state agriculture commissioner, Nikki Fried, mentioned in an announcement on Monday.
On Tuesday, she additionally mentioned she was near declaring a run for governor subsequent yr.
Limbaugh died final Wednesday, aged 70. Two days later, DeSantis mentioned he would order flags lowered.
Fried mentioned: “Decreasing to half-staff the flag of the US of America is a sacred honor that pays respect to fallen heroes and patriots.
“It’s not a partisan political software. Subsequently, I’ll notify all state workplaces beneath my route to ignore the governor’s forthcoming order to decrease flags for Mr Limbaugh – as a result of we is not going to have fun hate speech, bigotry, and division.”
Limbaugh, who lived in Florida, rose to fame as one of many harshest voices on the American proper, his invective geared toward ladies, African People, LGBTQ People and extra. Final yr, Donald Trump gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
On Friday, Fried tweeted: “Governor DeSantis is decreasing Florida’s flags to half-staff for Rush Limbaugh. However he had no phrases for Congressman John Lewis. Priorities.”
Lewis, from Georgia, was a number one determine within the civil rights motion of the Nineteen Sixties who served with distinction in Congress. He died final yr and was mourned extensively.
On Tuesday, Fried spoke to CNN.
“The American flag shouldn’t be used and can’t be used as a political prop by Governor DeSantis,” she mentioned. “He’s bending over backwards to honor a radio host who spent his total profession speaking hate speech and speaking bigotry and division and conspiracy theories.”
Fried mentioned there have been no penalties for not complying with an order to decrease flags, including: “We don’t need to penalise any person for his or her beliefs.”
She was additionally requested if she was planning to run towards DeSantis in 2022.
“Each single day,” she mentioned, “it’s changing into increasingly more clear that we now have to do away with Governor De Santis. And because the solely statewide elected Democrat within the state of Florida, there are lots of people who’re coming as much as me and telling me that I’m one among our greatest pictures.
“So we’re actually trying into it. However once more is changing into clearer each single day that we have to … finish this hatred in our state. So it’s near a sure.”