Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott are reportedly in the midst of a heated GOP rivalry following DeSantis’ controversial Martha’s Vineyard stunt earlier this month, RadarOnline.com has learned.
In a surprising development to come after the two governors were seemingly on good terms, the two men’s political relationship has started to crumble after DeSantis failed to inform anyone on Abbott’s team of his plan to collect nearly 50 migrants in San Antonio and fly them to Massachusetts on September 14.
That is the revelation made in a newly published New York Times report that indicated DeSantis not only annoyed those in Martha’s Vineyard with his widely condemned stunt, but also fellow Republicans in Texas – particularly some of Abbott’s closest allies and aides.
The new rivalry seemingly comes because Abbott was already in the process of relocating upwards of 11,000 Texas migrants to New York, Washington and Chicago in a well-orchestrated “relocation program” meant to protest the Biden Administration’s allegedly lax immigration policies.
But months later, and after spending millions of Texas tax dollars on his efforts, Abbott was forced to sit and watch as the “national spotlight” shined on DeSantis’s Martha’s Vineyard stunt – despite the fact DeSantis only relocated a small margin of the number of migrants Abbott has relocated in recent months.
Even more shocking is the fact that both governors have reportedly been engaged in “an increasingly high-stakes contest of one-upmanship” for years, with one governor introducing new policies in their state only for the other governor to follow suit in their state shortly after.
For example, Abbott proposed new legislation in August 2020 that would punish cities in Texas that chose to decrease funding for the police by stopping those cities from raising property tax revenue.
One month later, DeSantis followed suit and threatened to cut state funding to Florida cities that cut funding for the police.
Then, in June 2021, DeSantis signed into law a bill that prevents transgender girls from playing on female-only sports teams in his state’s public-school districts. That October, Abbott signed a nearly identical bill into law in Texas.
But despite DeSantis and Abbott’s apparent rivalry and “high-stakes contest of one-upmanship,” others have suggested both men’s newfound animosity towards each other is a result of the quickly nearing 2024 presidential election.
“No one has ever been elected governor of even a small state who didn’t, somewhere deep in their heart, start dreaming about being president,” Chris Wilson, a pollster who has previously worked for both governors, recently said.
“So it’s not shocking to see both Abbott and DeSantis jockeying at least a little toward 2024 or beyond,” Wilson added.