Villagers for Trump leader, new state representative join in Governor’s Ball in Tallahassee

The leader of Villagers for Trump and The Villages’ new state representative celebrated at the Governor’s Ball on Tuesday night in Tallahassee.

Villager David Gee, District 33 State Rep. Brett Hage and their wives, Lynette and Candice, were among the guests at the ball celebrating the inauguration of Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Villagers for Trump founder David Gee, right, and his wife, Lynette, pose with District 33 State Rep. Brett Hage and his wife, Candice, at the Governor’s Ball on Tuesday night.

Gee was joined in Tallahassee by a delegation that included Villagers for Trump Vice President Jim Volpe – he recently had his photograph taken with President Trump at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach – and members Stan Swies and his wife, Carol. The group attended official state functions, festivities, and meetings and will report on the trip to the membership at this Thursday night’s meeting at Mulberry Grove Recreation Center.

Villagers for Trump, a grassroots effort to support the president founded by Gee, has quickly become a political force with a strong voice in The Villages. The group, which has grown to more than 1,000 members, was heavily involved in DeSantis’ campaign and was responsible for him visiting The Villages so area voters could hear his plans on a firsthand basis.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is joined at his inauguration by his wife, Casey, and former Gov. Rick Scott and his wife, Ann.

Hage, who also serves as president of T&D Distribution, is a seventh-generation Floridian who defeated Villages Democrat Oren Miller for the District 33 State House seat that was held by the late Don Hahnfeldt. He first announced that he was “heavily considering” running for the seat at a Villagers for Trump rally last January.

DeSantis largely solidified his standing among Villages Republicans when he appeared at a Villagers for Trump candidate forum in July on the eve of a Tampa rally he was attending with President Trump. DeSantis, carrying an endorsement from Trump, spoke before a packed-house crowd at the Laurel Manor Recreation Center in an event that also saw Hage tell the audience he believed in conservative values and wanted their support for the District 33 seat.

Gov. Ron DeSantis points to members of the crowd during his inauguration ceremony on Tuesday.

Less than a month after that highly successful event, DeSantis dominated every precinct in the Sumter County portion of The Villages in the GOP Primary, easily defeating Villages Developer-backed candidate Adam Putnam, the former agriculture commissioner. In fact, of the 26 precincts in Sumter County, the only ones DeSantis didn’t carry were in Royal, Center Hill, Wildwood and Bushnell.

David and Lynette Gee, with Carol and Stan Swies at the Governor’s Ball on Tuesday night.

DeSantis, also carrying the endorsement of Villagers for Trump, made another stop in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown in October in the midst of his heated race with Democratic Tallahassee Gov. Andrew Gillum. The former congressman’s wife, Casey, was a guest of the Republican Federated Women of The Villages in September. And following his victory in November, DeSantis paid another visit to The Villages in December as part of his “thank you” tour to express gratitude to members of Villagers for Trump and others who supported his bid to become the state’s 46th governor.

Villagers for Trump is hosting the president’s former campaign managers, Corey R. Lewandowski and David N. Bossie, at its Thursday night meeting at the Mulberry Recreation Center. They will be discussing their latest book titled “Trumps’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency.” Tickets for the event, which gets under way with a VIP meet-and-greet at 6 p.m., can be purchased at VillagersforTrump.org.

The group also is planning a “Build the Wall” golf cart parade on Saturday. Those interested in participating should line up at 3:30 p.m. in the Barnes & Noble parking lot in Lake Sumter Landing, with the parade getting under way 30 minutes later. That parade will follow a similar one that was held in October and included 383 golf carts and 800 people.