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Dozens of Florida sheriffs endorse Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Ron DeSantis in Jacksonville news conferences

Surrounded by dozens of badges, DeSantis said his support of police and opposition to the "Defund the Police" movement is the reason Florida is a safe place to live.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Dozens of Florida's sheriffs gathered in Jacksonville Monday to voice their support for the reelection campaigns of two of the state's top leaders.

Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Ron DeSantis both made campaign stops at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Downtown. Among the sheriffs who joined them were Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams, Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook and Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper.

Surrounded by dozens of badges, DeSantis said his stance on supporting law enforcement and his opposition to the "Defund the Police" movement is the reason Florida is a safe place to live.

"You look around the country, it is a much different picture where you see crime absolutely skyrocketing through the roof," DeSantis said. "That didn’t just happen by accident. That happened because you had communities across the country, particularly over the last couple of years, who turned their back on law enforcement."

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In support of Rubio, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey expressed disappointment in Rubio's opponent, U.S. Rep. Val Demings (D-Florida).

"For someone who claimed to be a cop and to have worn a badge, what she did in Washington D.C. to support criminals forever tarnished any badge she ever wore," Ivey said.

Statewide, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's most recent report showed overall crime is down for its 50th consecutive year.

Both DeSantis and Rubio are up for reelection in November.

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