Florida Sheriffs Demand Andrew Gillum Renounce the Hateful and Dangerous Ideology of Radical “Dream Defenders” Organization

Orlando, Fla. – More than half of the state’s elected Sheriffs signed a letter demanding Andrew Gillum withdraw his pledge to cut police funding and renounce the hateful and dangerous ideology of the radical Dream Defenders organization.

Andrew Gillum has walked in lock step with the Dream Defenders since the primary. The Dream Defenders have aided him with his campaign and engaged in get out the vote efforts throughout. He has publicly stated that he is proud of the group’s work and has refused to disavow this hate group.

Ron DeSantis has earned the endorsement of every major police union in the state because, as a former prosecutor, he is committed to supporting the brave men and women in law enforcement. This is in stark contrast to Andrew Gillum, who has openly aligned himself with a group that is vile in their rhetoric towards police.

In a rare move, the International Union of Police Associations broke with tradition to endorse Ron DeSantis because of Gillum’s extreme positions. In a public letter to Ron DeSantis, the group said that although they “very seldom make political endorsements in state elections,” they “felt that they could not remain neutral,” citing Gillum’s alignment with the Dream Defenders and their hateful, anti-law enforcement rhetoric. This is the third major police group to demand Gillum denounce his ties to the Dream Defenders.

Ron DeSantis has gained the endorsement of every major law enforcement association in the state, including:

  • The Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association. Their President, Jeff Bell, has repeatedly called out Andrew Gillum for signing the Dream Defenders pledge.
  • The Police Benevolent Association, who recorded robocalls opposing Andrew Gillum for his decision to cut police funding.
  • Over 50 Sheriffs, the majority of whom have called on Gillum to denounce the Dream Defenders pledge.
  • The Florida Association of State Troopers
  • The Florida Police Chiefs Association

This letter was released shortly before the Republican Governor’s Association released a new television ad highlighting the concerns of law enforcement officials over Gillum’s consistent support of the radical anti-police group.


“I strongly agree with Florida Sheriffs who are calling on my opponent to once and for all disavow the Dream Defenders pledge that he signed,” said Ron DeSantis, Republican nominee for Governor of Florida. “My opponent has consistently skirted the issue and refused to disavow the dangerous, anti-police rhetoric that this group advocates. He has shown the brave men and women of our law enforcement that he will not have their back.”

The letter reads:

We, the undersigned members of Florida’s law enforcement community, ask that you immediately and unequivocally withdraw your pledge to the organization, Dream Defenders. After learning of this organization’s disturbing and anti-law enforcement position and statements, we believe that any candidate wishing to lead our state should in no way be aligned with this radical group.

The pledge you signed not only calls for you to defund police and prisons, but the papers that accompany this pledge wrongly claim, “Police were never meant to protect and serve me and you…Police and prisons have no place in ‘justice’…Police and prisons aren’t just racist but they work to enforce the separations of rich and poor.”

We believe you will agree that anyone seeking to be Florida’s next Governor should support the men and women who put on a badge daily and risk their lives to protect their communities.

We ask that you respond to this request with urgency and agree with us that the men and women of law enforcement in our state deserve respect and support.

Thank You,

The full letter, along with the names of each signee, may be found here.