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California ‘refugees’ to bash Newsom at DeSantis press conference ahead of ‘Hannity’ debate

Ahead of Thursday’s highly-anticipated debate between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody will hold a press conference earlier in the afternoon to hear from California “refugees” who fled the Golden State for Florida. 

Among those featured will be a Vietnam veteran named Jay Berman, who lived in Southern California for 40 years before moving to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, because of high crime and vagrancy. 

Berman is now, according to DeSantis’ office, enjoying Florida’s low cost of living and can now afford to semi-retire without worrying about finding new clients.

Another featured speaker will be Julie Gebhards, who home schools her children in Lithia, Florida. She is said to have left California after becoming disillusioned with the state’s education curriculum, particularly “pornographic material” in schools. 

Former New York police officer Steve Grossi will also speak at the press conference. Grossi moved to California to start over, but instead was met with homelessness and worried about his kids’ safety. He returned east and resides in Tallahassee, Florida. 

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The press conference will also feature Noah and Kelsey Howard, who moved to Milton, Florida, because of DeSantis’ law enforcement recruitment program. The couple, who recently welcomed a newborn, left California because of the state’s high cost of living.

Another couple, Ross and Jean Coulombe, moved to Bagdad, Florida, from California, after the Ross’ business was shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic and Newsom’s Draconian measures that followed. 

DeSantis, who is running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, and Newsom — who Republican critics charge is running a shadow campaign for the White House even though he repeatedly stomps on such speculation as “ridiculous” — will face off Thursday in a debate moderated by Fox News’ prime-time opinion host Sean Hannity.

Fox News Digital’s Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report. 

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