Ron DeSantis will join Donald Trump at Villages rally

click to enlarge Photo of Melania and Donald Trump with Ron and Casey DeSantis via Wikimedia CommonsGov. Ron DeSantis will be on hand when President Donald Trump visits friendly turf Thursday in The Villages, but two of the presidents other closest Florida allies wont accompany him.Republican Party of Florida Chairman Joe Gruters and Congressman Matt Gaetz have prior commitments and will not be able to attend the presidents event, which is happening in the midst of a U.S. House impeachment inquiry into the president.The Thursday afternoon event in the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center is expected to draw a crowd of Trump supporters at the sprawling retirement community, a Republican stronghold where Trump overwhelmingly won in 2016. The Villages includes parts of Sumter, Lake and Marion counties.Sadly, Gaetz said in a text message, he wont be able to attend because of being previously committed to a base visit and other events in my district.The Panhandle Republican has described the impeachment inquiry as hinging on rumors, based on faulty evidence, and based on a blood lust for the president politically that does not serve our nation well.Gaetz has regularly attended Trump events in Florida, including Trumps ceremonial 2020 re-election campaign kickoff in Orlando and a Panhandle rally this year.Gruters, who doubles as chairman of the Florida GOP and as a state senator from Sarasota, has also been a usual fixture at the presidents Sunshine State events. This time around, though, he will be absent due to a prior engagement with Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg.As members of the Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, which Brandes chairs, the lawmakers had scheduled visits at Florida prisons, according to Max Goodman, an adviser for Gruters.DeSantis, whose support from Trump is widely credited for his win in the 2018 gubernatorial race, will attend the Villages event with the president, Meredith Beatrice, a DeSantis spokeswoman, confirmed Wednesday morning.Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis also will be present.The governor and the first lady have accompanied Trump at Florida rallies, including the presidents 2020 re-election launch in Orlando. It remains to be seen if he will discuss the impeachment inquiry, which on Tuesday night he contended was a COUP.