DeSantis Offers $5,000 Bonus to Move Chicago Cops to Florida

Ron DeSantis has taken his feud with Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker to the billboards of Chicago.

(Bloomberg) — Ron DeSantis has taken his feud with Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker to the billboards of Chicago.

The Republican Governor is funding an advertising campaign in the Greater Chicago area to recruit Illinois law enforcement to his home state of Florida, offering a $5,000 signing bonus to relocate, according to a statement. The effort is part of a broader 2022 recruitment law signed by DeSantis that so far has lured 2,700 officers to Florida — though only about 37 from Illinois.

“I look forward to welcoming the Illinois men and women in blue to the law-and-order state,” DeSantis, 45, said in the statement.

The two governors have been increasingly trading barbs, as DeSantis tries to raise his national profile to salvage his White House bid. Last month, Pritzker said DeSantis “isn’t smart enough to be president” after DeSantis blasted an Illinois bill allowing non-US citizens apply to be police officers.

“A one-time signing bonus for new officers in Florida doesn’t erase the danger women, immigrants, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community caught in the cross-hairs of Ron DeSantis’ culture wars face when moving to that state,” Pritzker said in an emailed statement. 

“If Ron wants to spend Floridian’s tax dollars on Illinois billboards, we will gladly take his money,” Pritzker said.

DeSantis has slipped in polls since announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination in May. He’s now significantly behind former President Donald Trump and his campaign has gone through multiple shakeups. 

Pritzker, meanwhile, is struggling to tackle violent crime in Chicago, after a surge during the pandemic. Billionaire Ken Griffin has cited violence as one of the reasons for moving his company, Citadel, to Miami, and has supported DeSantis’s tough-on-crime policies.

Other business leaders, including the bosses of McDonald’s Corp. and exchange operator CME Group Inc., have also highlighted crime as a concern.

Read More: Chicago Elite Taps Hyatt CEO, BMO Banker to Fight Crime

(Updates with comments from Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker starting fifth paragraph)

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