PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The debate is on for voters in Tradition as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his run for the presidency, joining former President Donald Trump in the race.
"I think he's got it if Trump doesn't get in there, but Trump might wreck his chances," said Thomas Varanelli, who said he and his wife Laura are voting for DeSantis.
"Why not Trump?" WPTV reporter Joel Lopez asked.
"His personality," Laura said. "I think he would do well when it comes to the economy and all however, he is not a people person and I think you have to be a people person in order to people to listen and care."
The Varanellis say Trump has too much baggage but worry DeSantis' conservative agenda may work against him.
"It's Trump. I'm going to vote for Trump now and in the future for DeSantis," said Alain Villavicencio, who is a Republican and plans to vote for Trump in the 2024 election.
He said Trump has already proven he has what it takes to be president.
"I came from Cuba we know what that means coming from a country that you have nothing, even you have no rights at all," Villavicencio said.
"If you had to choose between Trump or DeSantis, which way do you think you'd go?" Lopez asked.
"That's a really good question, we've been debating this at home for weeks," independent voter Jorge Pascual said.
"I love DeSantis, I love what he's done for Florida, but I think the four years of Donald Trump were economically fabulous," Pascual said.
Pascual is a small business owner and credits DeSantis for helping keep his business afloat during the pandemic.
He says that DeSantis' controversial immigration and LGBTQ+ laws in Florida may impact voters nationwide.
"No, the whole country is not ready to be like Florida. You have pockets throughout America," Pascual said. "I don't think California is ready to be like Florida, I don't think New York is ready to be like Florida.
Pascual said he voted for Trump for president and DeSantis for governor but come election day it'll come down to what's best for the country.
"Does that mean that a Republican or a right wing has to give a little, and a left wing a Democrat would have to give a little, the answer is yes but we have to find common ground," Pascual said.