TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday suspended a Tampa-area elected state attorney who recently became the only prosecutor in Florida to sign a pledge that he would not prosecute people under the state’s newly enacted abortion law.
The suspension of 13th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Andrew Warren is effective immediately, and comes as he has not only taken outspoken stances on Florida’s newest abortion law but was seen as a rising figure in Florida Democratic circles.
DeSantis said his decision was made because Warren was picking and choosing which laws to enforce.
The governor raised Warren’s objection to prosecuting people under Florida’s newly enacted 15-week abortion ban, which doesn’t provide exceptions for rape and incest, as well as Warren signaling he supported gender-affirming treatments for trans minors, which DeSantis has condemned.
In a Tampa news conference, which his press secretary hyped as an event that would make the “liberal media meltdown,” DeSantis noted there is no state law banning gender-affirming treatments but included that in the executive order suspending Warren because one day the Legislature could ban them.
“The Legislature of Florida may want to come in and do something on that, you are going to say presumptively you can’t do it?” DeSantis said during the event.
Warren said his suspension “spits in the face” of voters who elected him twice to serve as Hillsborough County’s top prosecutor.
“Today’s political stunt is an illegal overreach that continues a dangerous pattern by Ron DeSantis of using his office to further his own political ambition,” he said in a statement.
“The people have the right to elect their own leaders — not have them dictated by an aspiring presidential candidate.”
Warren’s removal comes as progressive prosecutors have faced a backlash in recent months. In June, San Francisco voters ousted local district attorney Chesa Boudin …