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Why Ron DeSantis bowed out of $25K-a-plate Lee Zeldin fundraiser

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis backed out of a fundraiser for New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin to attend a Monday memorial service for a member of his security detail who died in the line of duty, sources told The Post.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent Jose Perez was responding to a call in an unmarked cruiser on Aug. 2 when he was struck by Javier Sandoval, 35, in Miami.

Perez was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries and died on Aug. 20.

Sandoval was later arrested and hit with several charges, including DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide.

“Today we mourn the tragic loss of FDLE Special Agent Jose Perez, who died in the line of duty,” Florida first lady Casey DeSantis wrote on Twitter ahead of the service Monday. “With over 20 years in the U.S. armed forces & more than 30 years in law enforcement, he lived a valiant life serving our nation & state. The entire @fdlepio community is in our prayers.”

DeSantis was slated to headline a $25,000-a-plate fundraiser for Zeldin in Oyster Bay on Sunday night, an event the candidate’s reps said was expected to raise nearly $1 million.

Conservative commentator Dan Bongino filled in for DeSantis, sources said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis attended a memorial service for a member of his security detail who died in the line of duty.
Luis Santana/Tampa Bay Times via AP
Lee Zeldin fundraiser.
Rep. Lee Zeldin held a $25,000-a-plate fundraiser in Oyster Bay, Long Island.
Facebook/Lee Zeldin

Zeldin told attendees that Perez was part of DeSantis’ security team and that he was returning to Florida to attend the service in his honor.

While unable to attend the evening event, DeSantis was in Deal, New Jersey, earlier in the day at the home of Jay Cayre, head of Midtown Equities, sources told The Post.

A spokesperson for Zeldin said DeSantis would return to New York at a later date for an event with the candidate.

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