DeSantis Has Law Enforcement Block Iowa Journalist From Event

By Ty Rushing

August 11, 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign team today contacted law enforcement in an attempt to prohibit Iowa Starting Line reporters from covering his campaign in the Hawkeye State, according to Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies.

Two reporters—including Starting Line’s Chief Political Correspondent Ty Rushing—were greeted by multiple sheriff’s deputies at the entrance of the American Legion in Harlan on Friday afternoon, where DeSantis was making his second campaign stop of the day.

“They said it’s a private event. They don’t want you. It is what it is,” Deputy Bill McDaniel said, refusing to elaborate on why the campaign sought to block Starting Line’s access to the event today.

“I can’t (tell you why). I don’t work for them. It’s a private event,” he said.  “It is what it is.”

No other media outlets were excluded from the event. After speaking to a crowd inside, DeSantis answered questions from other reporters on the front lawn, where Starting Line was also prohibited from participating. Deputies stood guard on the sidewalk throughout the event.

Before the event in Harlan, Starting Line had covered another DeSantis event in Atlantic, where DeSantis’ private security took photos of the reporters and began to shadow them around the event. Rushing has also covered seven previous DeSantis events.

A request for comment left with DeSantis’ campaign was not immediately returned.

“My job is weird. One day, you’re eating Iowa State Fair food with the governor of Minnesota and the next day the Florida governor is banning you from his event,” Rushing said.


by Team Starting Line

  • Ty Rushing

    Ty Rushing is the Chief Political Correspondent for Iowa Starting Line. He is a trail-blazing veteran Iowa journalist, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and co-founder and president of the Iowa Association of Black Journalists. Send tips or story ideas to [email protected] and find him on social media @Rushthewriter.

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