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The Miami Herald Catches Ron DeSantis Planning a Fundraiser with Racist Former Representative Ralph Arza

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With each passing day, new reports reveal just how closely Ron DeSantis has aligned himself with the most toxic and divisive figures in our politics.

Last night, the DeSantis campaign released a fundraising invitation that listed former Representative Ralph Arza as a co-host. In 2006, Rep. Arza was forced to resign in disgrace after calling the Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Rudy Crew and Republican Representative Gus Barreiro racial epithets.

This morning, the DeSantis campaign backtracked, by claiming that the event would now longer include Arza — despite the fact that he was listed on the initial invitation as a co-host.

"Ron DeSantis has a long history of cozying up to the most toxic and hateful people in American politics," said FDP spokesperson Kevin Donohoe. "From attending David Horowitz conferences to planning fundraisers with Ralph Arza, DeSantis seems happy to associate himself with bigots — as long as he doesn't get caught."

The Arza fundraiser is just the latest example of DeSantis aligning himself with divisive extremists. On Sunday evening, the Washington Post revealed in a bombshell report that DeSantis had attended four "racially charged" David Horowitz conferences. On Wednesday, when asked about the conferences by Politico Florida's Marc Caputo, DeSantis could not explain why he attended — and was forced to jump into an SUV.

DeSantis's ties to far right extremists — and use of highly divisive language — has alarmed even some of his allies. One donor told the Washington Post this week that DeSantis "certainly tripped" with "his inartful comment" on Fox and will "have to avoid those kind of gaffes in the future."