DeSantis Partner Goes Missing, Discovered in Trashed Hotel Outside Disney World

in Walt Disney World

Ron DeSantis speaking at a podium, with the united states flag.

Credit: DeSantis

A key member of Governor Ron DeSantis’ Florida GOP has been discovered in a trashed hotel room outside of the Walt Disney World Resort after having been reported missing for five days. This is yet another in the embarrassing series of high-profile scandals surrounding the DeSantis administration in the last year and unlikely to help the politician’s fallen image any.

Ron DeSantis with the Walt and Mickey statue at Disney World
Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

For a time, Governor DeSantis was touted as the future of the Republican Party on a national level. Despite his Ivy League education (which includes degrees from both Yale University and Harvard Law School) and a professional career almost entirely spent running for office, DeSantis adopted the public image of a working-class maverick, winning him two terms as governor. He also campaigned for the GOP nomination for the 2024 presidential election, eventually conceding to Donald J. Trump after a poor showing in the Iowa Caucus.

Related: Governor DeSantis Concedes Disney Doesn’t Have To Obey New Laws

In addition to the fallout of his failed presidential run, Ron DeSantis has also had to deal with his very public battle with the Walt Disney Company, which happens to be one of the single largest employers in his state and an enormously globally influential corporation. After a series of lawsuits between DeSantis, his Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board of supervisors, and Walt Disney World, things seemed to have settled down a little bit, just in time for another GOP scandal.

Mickey Mouse laughing at Ron DeSantis
Credit: Disney/DeSantis, edited by ITM

George Riley, the executive director of the Florida GOP, was reported missing by his family on Friday (per South Florida Sun Sentinel) after he told his sister and father he was headed to a Hampton Inn on Centerview Boulevard in Kissimmee for a “business meeting.” Apparently, once there, he checked out of his room, booked a different room in the same hotel, and began an alcohol-fueled binge that eventually necessitated the presence of an Osceola Sheriff’s deputy and other Orange County deputies.

The assistant manager of the Hampton Inn reported that George Riley was “regularly purchasing alcohol, and he purchased so much from the store inside the hotel that he had to order more” and had “broken the electric blinds in the room and had urinated and vomited throughout.”

Urgent alert: missing person - george riley jr., 43 years old, last seen in tallahassee, fl, and may be in the orlando area. please contact family if found; driving a black ford expedition, license plate #jis f96.
Credit: Osceola County

He later asked to extend his stay but was denied ” due to [his] excessive drinking and damage caused to the room,” which necessitated extensive cleaning and repair. The GOP executive director was later discovered via his cell phone in B Resort & Spa in Lake Buena Vista outside Walt Disney World.

George Riley apologized for his actions to the Tampa Bay Times, saying, “I’m deeply sorry. I have been dealing with alcoholism and mental health issues. I will pay for any damages that were caused. I apologize to the employees for my bad behavior and I will be seeking help soon. I’ll be seeking help so I can be a better father, a better person, and a better all-around employee.”

Riley is an influential member of the Florida GOP, which is heavily dominated by Ron DeSantis, making his a de facto close ally to the politician. Riley previously served as the Florida GOP executive director from 2016 to 2019 and has since acted as Executive Director for Conservatives for Clean Energy-Florida and as a Senior Advisor to the Party.

He was re-appointed to the position by GOP Chairman Evan Power, who, along with Governor DeSantis, is attempting to rehabilitate the party’s image in the wake of numerous battles with Disney and a nationally publicized sex scandal that seriously tarnished Republicans in the state.

Related: Governor DeSantis Signs $2.5 Billion Disney World Highway Bill Into Law

Ron DeSantis pointing at Bridget Ziegler in front of the Reedy Creek signage inside of Disney World.
Credit: Inside The Magic

Former Florida GOP Chairman Christian Ziegler and his wife, Bridget Ziegler, were central figures in a sex scandal with an unnamed woman who revealed she had been having trysts with both, despite their loudly proclaimed family-centered conservative politics. The unnamed woman also accused Christian Ziegler of sexual assault.

Bridget Ziegler, a co-founder of the controversial activist group Moms for Liberty and a DeSantis appointee to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board, is also a close ally of the governor. She is also facing her own calls to step down from her positions but has refused.

Governor DeSantis has been signing a lot of new laws and working for the state of Florida, but it seems only a matter of time before the GOP embarrasses him again.

Do you think Governor DeSantis is responsible for the chaos of the Florida GOP? Tell us in the comments below!

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