Gov. Ron DeSantis’ first moves suggest some challenges to long-held GOP agenda

TALLAHASSEE – When Ron DeSantis was sworn in as governor last month, he became the youngest Florida executive since Reconstruction, and at age 40, the first born after the Vietnam War.

In his first month in office, he’s surprised many by his moves on the environment and medical marijuana, and shown he’s open to some criminal justice reform ideas. In all those issues, there’s a generational divide within the Republican Party, with the younger set not as tied to conservative rhetoric on drugs and crime and more aware of the effects of climate change.

“I have to believe that he comes into it with a different perspective, and that perspective is – generally, younger Republicans are more libertarian leaning,” said Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. “That’s exciting.”

Brandes, 42, has led efforts to test driverless cars and support ridesharing companies. Now he’s pushing a series of criminal justice reforms he hopes DeSantis will

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