Florida Governor Ron DeSantis hit a career high point with his recent landslide re-election win.
And it looks like the sky’s the limit as he seems to be plotting a future presidential campaign.
However, a mysterious death just upended DeSantis—and the consequences are still unknown.
Every successful politician relies on critical behind the scenes backers.
So Ron DeSantis was devastated when law enforcement officers discovered Kent Stermon, President of Total Military Management dead in his car.
Stermon was a dedicated political donor giving $140,000 to Florida campaigns since 2017 including $50,000 to Governor DeSantis.
His death is now under investigation.
“This investigation remains ongoing at this time and will continue until its completion,” Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters told POLITICO.
In spite of the ongoing investigation, police don’t suspect foul play at this point.
Jacksonville News 4 reported on the story:
A prominent Northeast Florida businessman and well-known political donor has died.
According to multiple sources, Kent Stermon was found dead in his car at the Mayport Post Office in Atlantic Beach on Thursday night. He was 50 years old.
Police said foul play is not suspected in the death.
DeSantis’ office released a statement responding to news of his long-time supporter’s death.
“The Governor and First Lady were shocked and saddened to hear of Kent’s passing, and their prayers (and our entire office’s prayers) are with his family during this difficult time,” the statement read, adding that “we have no knowledge” of the investigation.
Stermon’s support for DeSantis dates back to well before the conservative Republican became governor of the Sunshine State.
DeSantis even spent time living in a condo owned by one of Stermon’s companies when redistricting drew DeSantis out of his Congressional seat.
At the time DeSantis needed to find a residence after dropping out of the 2016 Senate race and he found himself without a district due to Florida’s new Congressional map.
Eventually, DeSantis settled in a different district and won re-election to Congress as he began his ascent in Republican politics.
After he defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum in the Florida Gubernatorial Election, DeSantis honored his friend by nominating Stermon to serve on the state university Board of Governors.
The university also released a statement sympathizing with Stermon’s family.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Governor Kent Stermon,” Board of Governors members’ statement noted. “For the last three years, Kent has served on this board with distinction. He has been a champion of higher education and student success in Florida and a long-time supporter of the University of North Florida in many ways throughout the years. The Board of Governors sends its heartfelt condolences to Kent’s family during this difficult time.”
Obviously, for now those who knew Stermon are focused on honoring his life.
Exactly how much the loss of his longtime supporter will hurt DeSantis and other Republicans in Florida is still unknown.
No doubt his support will be sorely missed.
Political Animal News will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.