SALINAS, Calif. - Fresh off of the latest Republican presidential debate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a fundraiser in the farming community of Salinas. He was met with a chilly reception by protestors and by the Salinas City Council, which passed a resolution opposing his visit.
The invitation to the event shows it was $3,300 per person or $5,000 per couple. The host names on the invitation are some of the biggest employers and agricultural producers in the Salinas Valley.
The event was held at the private Corral de Tierra Golf Club.
"[DeSantis] has written anti-immigration and anti-LGBT and anti-abortion laws that have put people’s lives in danger, and people are even fleeing from the State of Florida…that is very concerning and alarming for us," said protester Airam Coronado.
Earlier this week the Salinas City Council passed a resolution 6-0, with one abstention, making it clear the council’s opposition to DeSantis’ visit.
The resolution was co-authored by Councilman Anthony Rocha.
"So elected officials at all levels of government to call out hate, bigotry, racism and homophobia. And Ron DeSantis’ agenda is full of hate, and it is a dangerous one," Rocha said.
Jeff Gorman, the chairman of the Monterey County Republican Party, defended the visit.
"There is a big need for dialogue, and I am grateful that Governor DeSantis came here and spoke to us," Gorman said.
Gorman points out that the big agricultural plants not only provide jobs but also tax revenue to the city and county which buoys everyone who lives here.
"In regard to why people are in such an uproar, I think there is a lot of fear in our community because there are immigration laws, which are being ignored. And that is a Republican plank not just DeSantis. I think every Republican feels the laws around immigration need to be upheld," Gorman said.
While DeSantis’ visit to Salinas was short and the protestors were noisy, there were no reported problems.