Gov. Ron DeSantis Not Courting Billionaire Elon Musk To Move Twitter, Inc. To Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis Not Courting Billionaire Elon Musk To Move Twitter, Inc. To Florida

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — Gov. Ron DeSantis is all for Elon Musk taking over Twitter, but he isn’t among the people courting the billionaire to move the company to Florida.

As state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis has made a campaign of trying to entice Musk and Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has offered his city as a new hub for the social-media giant, DeSantis isn’t as enamored with luring high-tech businesses from California.

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“I think we’ve done very well, particularly over the last few years, attracting businesses that are producing things,” DeSantis said Monday while in Jacksonville. “We’ve worked really hard on vocational and career education. Importing some tech company from San Francisco has not been high on our list. I think that what happens is they’ll tend to come in, they drive up the cost of living for everybody else. And OK, yeah, they enjoy our lower taxes. But what are they really providing?”

Musk plans to buy Twitter and take the company private, an acquisition that could net the state’s pension fund $15 million to $20 million, DeSantis estimated.

Under terms of the deal, Twitter shareholders would receive $54.20 for each share of common stock — once the proposed transaction is closed. Florida’s pension fund holds 934,886 shares.

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But DeSantis said he’d rather have other types of companies.

“I’d rather have more industry. I’d rather have more jobs that will actually be rooted in this state,” DeSantis said.

“We’re working on some good stuff, some good manufacturing,” DeSantis continued. “And we’ve done very well with aerospace, we’ve done very well with it. And Elon has been a part of that. And we’ve done very well with finance and some of these other things here in Jacksonville. You know, the FinTech (financial services through online technology), there’s some good stuff. But in terms of bringing a Twitter from San Francisco to Florida, you know, that’s not something that I’m advocating.”

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(©2022 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida’s Jim Turner contributed to this report.)

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