Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said Monday evening he will not step down from his position to be Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis’ running mate.
Williams was one of nine people on a list of potential Lieutenant Governor picks being considered by DeSantis, according to POLITICO.
In a statement emailed to WJCT News, Williams said, “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.”
In his support for DeSantis, Williams is breaking with much of the state’s law enforcement community, who have endorsed Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in the GOP primary.
Putnam counts among his supporters nearly 50 Florida sheriffs, as well as the state Fraternal Order of Police and the state Police Benevolent Association.