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DeSantis acting like a leader in a crisis

OUR POSITION: When his state needs him most, Gov. Ron DeSantis is exhibiting all the qualities of a leader.

North Port Mayor Pete Emrich wasn’t shocked when he got a call Tuesday from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. He had been tipped off the call might come. And it did, just five minutes after he was given a heads up.

“He said he was very concerned about North Port and that he would send all the resources we need,” Emrich said.

And, so far, the governor has been true to that promise.

“We have the National Guard and all the help (we expected),” Emrich said.

Emrich also got a call from President Joe Biden’s aides, promising plenty of federal resources, and a missed call from Sen. Marco Rubio. Florida Rep. James Buchanan, R-Sarasota, also called and pledged help with anything the area needed — including a personal call to FP&L if necessary.

The call from DeSantis — who we’re sure made personal calls to the heads of local governments throughout Florida — had to be reassuring. It’s the kind of concern and determination to heal that the governor has shown from the first inkling Ian would become a major hurricane.

The news conferences that were held regularly leading up to Wednesday’s disastrous landfall, showed DeSantis at his best. The governor’s demeanor has been exactly what we would expect from the state’s top elected official.

And, the willingness to put politics aside and work with Washington and President Biden to bring relief to the hurricane’s victims shows the governor understands the challenge ahead in the coming days, weeks and months as the state tries to recover from Hurricane Ian.

DeSantis praised FEMA for its quick response while saying the state and federal governments would work together to bring help to where it is needed as quickly as possible.

The governor continues to give regular updates — telling those who have access to television where there is fuel, what to expect from FP&L as far as repairs to power lines and transformers and where to get help. Just like his news conferences before the hurricane struck — when he warned people to take the storm seriously and gave them tips on how to prepare for the worst — DeSantis continues to hit the right notes in his daily updates.

He looks like a man in charge and a man with a plan — which he says he has for the recovery of his state.

Pete Emrich said the people of North Port “have a good in with the people who are higher up.”

And, thankfully, that “in” is especially solid with the person at the top of the ladder — Ron DeSantis.

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