Florida Governor Ron DeSantis discouraged Twitter from establishing a headquarters in Florida — despite supporting Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover.
State leaders started inviting Elon Musk to move Twitter’s headquarters to their neck of the woods right after news broke that the social media platform’s board approved his bid. Mayor Lenny Curry from Jacksonville, Florida extended an invitation.
Mayor Curry argued that Jacksonville was a haven for tech talent. He also boasted about Florida’s first FinTech Academy, which could support a company like Twitter.
However, Governor DeStanis noted that “importing” a tech company from San Francisco was not high on Florida’s list. He speculated that moving Twitter’s HQ to Florida would drive up the cost of living for the community.
Despite his stance on a Florida-based Twitter HQ, DeSantis seems to support Elon Musk’s acquisition of the social media platform. DeSantis’ outlook on social media platforms appears to align with Musk’s plan to enable free speech on Twitter.
In May 2021, Governor DeSantis signed a bill to stop censorship of Floridians by big tech companies, specifically their ability to access and participate in online platforms.
“This session, we took action to ensure that ‘We the People’ — real Floridians across the Sunshine State — are guaranteed protection against the Silicon Valley elites,” the FL Governor said about the bill’s signing. “Many in our state have experienced censorship and other tyrannical behavior firsthand in Cuba and Venezuela. If Big Tech censors enforce rules inconsistently, to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable.”
The Florida Board of Administration supported Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, too. It wrote a letter to the Twitter Board, urging them to at least consider Musk’s initial offer.
“Look, you guys can make business judgments, but you can’t veto a great off just because you don’t like Elon or because you’re worried that he may open up Twitter,” DeSantis stated, describing the letter’s contents.
On Monday, May 2, the Florida Governor shared that Florida would make $15 to $20 million in profit once Elon Musk’s $44 billion Twitter acquisition is complete and takes it private. According to News4Jax, Florida is a Twitter investor through the state pension fund.