JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Despite reportedly making Ron DeSantis' short list of candidates for lieutenant governor, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said he will not step down from his position.
On Monday, Williams reaffirmed his commitment to the city, making it clear he does not plan to stop being Jacksonville's top cop.
In a response from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Williams wrote:
“While it is very flattering to be considered for the post of Lieutenant Governor of the State of Florida, I have made it clear to Congressman DeSantis that my calling is in law enforcement and that my commitment to protecting the people of Jacksonville is paramount. Ron is a true conservative and a strong leader; I look forward to working to make him the next Governor of our state.
“I am honored to lead the men and women of JSO and consider myself to be the most fortunate public servant anywhere and I will not step down from that responsibility. I am deeply committed to the good work underway building partnerships in every part of our community. We have started something that is extraordinary for all of us here in Jacksonville.
“While there are still challenges, the momentum is in a positive direction - I see it in the support from the citizens I meet, in the cooperation with our Mayor and City Council and in the morale of the officers working towards our shared vision. As long as the people of Jacksonville want me to serve them, I will respect that trust.”
DeSantis' campaign for governor is so confident he'll win the primary he's already shortlisted nine possible running mates, according to Politico, which said it was given the list anonymously. The political website on Friday released the list that included Williams.
Williams is one of several Florida sheriffs who have endorsed DeSantis in his run for governor. However, his opponent Adam Putnam has been endorsed by 45 of the state's 66 sheriffs.
Williams was elected in 2015. He has one more year on his current term.
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Kent Justice co-anchors News4Jax's 5 p.m., 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights and reports on government and politics. He also hosts "This Week in Jacksonville," Channel 4's hot topics and politics public affairs show each Sunday morning at 9 a.m.