'We're in it for the long haul': Gov. DeSantis Tours Mexico Beach, Pledges to Support Panhandle

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Governor Ron DeSantis spent part of his first day in office here in Bay County. DeSantis toured the damage in Mexico Beach while meeting with Mayor Al Cathey and other local officials. 

At his inaugural address Tuesday, governor Ron DeSantis said he stands with the communities affected by Hurricane Michael. 24 hours later, the governor echoed that same message to all of Bay County.

"Here I am on this first full day," DeSantis said. He was alongside his wife Casey, Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford, Mexico Beach Mayor Al Cathey, and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.

"It took my breath away when he announced that northwest Florida was not going to be forgotten," Patronis said. The governor has a message for the entire panhandle.

"This is something that I realize is going to be a long term effort so I wanted to stand here today and let people know that we're in it for the long haul," DeSantis said.

As Mexico Beach recovers, the city is taking on more costs than the small town and small city budget can handle. "We realize the financial stress and that's something I told my team we need to figure out what we can do to help," the governor said.

President Trump backed DeSantis during his campaign for governor. "He's obviously got a great relationship with the president. We hope we see some created communication and opportunity to bring this city back to life," Patronis said.

DeSantis visited Panama City and Lynn Haven last month, and said the resilience of the people working hard to rebuild their communities is how the region will bounce back. 

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