JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has endorsed Jacksonville sheriff candidate T.K. Waters following Sheriff Williams' retirement.
"That's my man there," the governor said while pointing. "I'm supporting T.K. Waters for the next Jacksonville sheriff. I think he's got a tremendous background. He's been involved at various levels of law enforcement. I think he would really provide excellent leadership for the people of Jacksonville."
Waters has also been endorsed by Sheriff Williams himself and former sheriff, now US Representative John Rutherford.
First Coast News has reached out multiple times to Waters for a reaction to Sheriff Williams' residency controversy and subsequent retirement. He has not responded.
Waters declared his intentions to run for sheriff well before Williams' June 10 retirement.
When speaking about his candidacy at a press conference in October 2021, Waters said his goal for Jacksonville is to keep the people in the city safe and "build on the things Sheriff Williams and Sheriff Rutherford has delivered on."
"We'll talk to you and we'll do things to help you, but if you show us you don't want to abide by the rules, we are going to do the things that are necessary to stop you and make you do the things you're supposed to do," Waters added.
First Coast News reached out the other candidates for comment about Waters' endorsements.
Wayne Clark wrote a statement. He wrote in part:
"I prefer the endorsement of the communities of Jacksonville that want bold new leadership at the JSO, a leader willing to listen and collaborate with everyone to make Jacksonville better, and safer as we move into the future."
Laketha Burton responded with a statement as well. She wrote in part:
"I'm not running to continue what's been done at JSO for the last 20 years. I'm running on a new style of leadership that will empower citizens who want to partner with law enforcement in making our city safer and more just.