Is Elon Musk the next ‘Florida Man?’


FILE – In this March 14, 2019, file photo, Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne, Calif. Musk is going on trial for his troublesome tweets in a case pitting the billionaire against a British diver he allegedly dubbed a pedophile. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis and Rep. Neal Dunn (R-Panama City) are trying to bring Elon Musk and Tesla to Florida.

Musk made headlines and issued a few tweets recently when he tried to open the factories that make Tesla’s electronic vehicles only to be rebuffed by California authorities who have strict rules in place in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

In response, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, has tweeted several times at Musk inviting him to come to the Sunshine State and offering to make Tesla Florida’s official car.

Patronis has also created a petition on his website asking Floridians to sign it and help convince Musk to come to the state.

Tesla Electric Car Plant
Vehicles are seen parked at the Tesla car plant Monday, May 11, 2020, in Fremont, Calif. The parking lot was nearly full at Tesla’s California electric car factory Monday, an indication that the company could be resuming production in defiance of an order from county health authorities. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Meanwhile, Dunn has written Musk a letter inviting him specifically to Northwest Florida.

“After everything my district has been through in the past few years, our area could use new jobs and a boost in the local economy,” Dunn said. “North Florida has a lot to offer – there’s no personal income tax; less regulations of businesses and corporations; real estate near airports, railroad lines, and ports; and it’s a great area for families.”

His letter also notes that the area includes one of the nations preeminent engineering schools and is “a short hop” to the Space Coast where Musk could presumably look after his aerospace company, SpaceX.

However, Musk may not be looking to move as of Wednesday. Media reports state that Alameda County has accepted Tesla’s site-specific plan to reopen and that Tesla’s factory could reopen as soon as next week.

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