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Parkland Politicians Call Out Republican Gubernatorial Candidates, Republicans Respond

Florida House of Representatives
Rep. Jared Evan Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs, said he'll debate Florida Republican gubernatorial candidates on the issue of guns.

Democratic politicians from Parkland – the town that’s home to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School – held a teleconference for media Monday morning.

Florida Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs, and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-FL, said that Florida Republican gubernatorial candidates Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam and U.S. Rep DeSantis, R-FL, had less-than-desirable responses to the Valentine’s Day school shooting that left 17 dead.

Moskowitz asserted that Putnam didn't visit the high school after the shooting.  

"As far as I know Commissioner Putnam is the only one in [Governor Rick Scott's] cabinet who has not even visited the school.," Moskowitz said. 

However, that's not true. When asked to respond to this, Aaron Keller, press secretary for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, sent Putnam's schedule from that day. 


Credit Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam's schedule of Feb. 20.


Earlier this month, Governor Rick Scott signed legislation drafted in response to the Stoneman Douglas shooting.

Putnam said he more-than-likely wouldn't have signed the bill because it raises the age for a person to buy a gun.

DeSantis didn’t say whether or not he’d sign the bill, but on Fox News he said the law is “constitutionally vulnerable”.

Florida Representative Moskowitz, who's a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, said DeSantis should at least meet with the victims of the shooting.

“I will set a meeting up for the congressman any time he wants to meet with the victims and to meet with the parents of victims. I'll be there of course to ask him some choice questions because I think that the folks in Florida deserve an answer," Moskowitz said. "Would you have signed the bill? Why are we letting him off the hook with that answer? Fox News will let him off the hook. But the voters are not going to let him off the hook.”

Republican DeSantis said he agrees with some measures in the Florida "Public Safety" bill, but not all of them.

Democrat Moskowitz said he’s willing to debate either Putnam or DeSantis on the issue of guns. He said the two Republicans are siding with their A ratings from the NRA over the safety of children.

In an email, DeSantis' press secretary David Vasquez pointed out that the congressman voted for the U.S. House's "STOP School Violence Act". The legislation calls for the training of students and teachers to identify and intervene to stop school violence, the development of anonymous reporting system for threats, and strengthening the relationship between schools and law enforcement. 

Vasquez also noted that  DeSantis spoke from the House floor to honor slain Stoneman Douglas student Peter Wang. 

"The students needed a hero that day," DeSantis said. "It's important to recognize and commemorate the fact that a 15-year-old JROTC cadet named Peter Wang answered the call."