Gov. DeSantis weighs in on GOP tent attack, Clay County superintendent appointment

Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Jacksonville to announce a new ‘FinTech’ initiative

Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Jacksonville to announce a new ‘FinTech’ initiative

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday morning announced a new financial technology jobs initiative at Florida State College at Jacksonville’s downtown campus and used the platform to talk about two other high-interest local issues.

DeSantis said he is awarding more than $3.6 million through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to FSCJ and St. Johns River State College to create the Northeast Florida Fintech Initiative. This Initiative represents a partnership between both colleges, regional schools, nonprofits and numerous financial services companies to provide new financial technology, or “FinTech” training and certification opportunities. The goal is to help local educators bolster financial technology training and develop the local workforce for the emerging financial services industry.

“If you look here in Jacksonville you have some of the leading companies in the world who are involved in this space,” DeSantis said. “We feel this is an area for our state to do even better in. This will help serve a need and power the economy.”

DeSantis has launched several initiatives designed to encourage financial technology companies to start, relocate or expand in Florida.

DeSantis also took the opportunity to talk about the man who is accused of deliberately driving his van into a tent where voters were being registered by local republicans, an incident that caught the attention of top Republican leaders including President Donald Trump.

“I think it was a really terrible thing to do and I think having swift justice is very important,” DeSantis said. “I am just glad that nobody got hurt, but that individual should be held accountable and I really thank the folks here in Jacksonville for getting on that immediately.”

DeSantis thanked the local media for covering the incident but echoed Donald Trump Jr.'s criticism of the national media.

"It’s not something that the national media has given much attention, it’s counter to their narratives, but I think we all need to speak with one voice and say that’s wrong,” DeSantis said. “To act out like that with violence is totally unacceptable. The good thing about it though is that the vast majority of folks that are passionate here and throughout the country, they do do it the right way.”

DeSantis said he spoke to President Trump about Saturday’s incident and got him to sign six hats for the victims who were involved.

DeSantis also addressed the looming appointment of an interim superintendent in Clay County.

DeSantis is tasked with appointing an interim superintendent after current superintendent Addison Davis was selected last month as the next superintendent of Hillsborough County schools, the seventh-largest school district in the country.

“We will have an appointment on the Clay County superintendent probably by the end of the month,” DeSantis said. “I think we know where we are going but we have just got to do the background and make sure everything is all good with that. There shouldn’t be any interruption in service for the school system.”

Davis has yet to submit his resignation but could take the job as soon as March. The interim superintendent would fill in until a permanent superintendent is elected in November.

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Digital reporter who has lived in Jacksonville for more than 25 years and focuses on important local issues like education and the environment.