MANATEE COUNTY - Following a split decision by county commissioners, a Manatee County park has been officially named after Governor Ron DeSantis.

Manatee County Commissioners voted four to three to rename Kinnan Park after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, despite protests from some residents, who believe the name is politically charged and divisive.

“I was embarrassed that we would name this tiny park with a cell tower after our governor," said Manatee County Commissioner, Carol Whitmore. 

“I feel this is embarrassing to our community, this is ridiculous," said Manatee County Commissioner, Misty Servia. 

Commissioner Servia, whose idea it was to host the park naming contest felt the outcome turned political by her opponent who beat her during the primary. 300 names were submitted by members of the community, with the majority in favor of Governor Ron DeSantis Park.

“While this was never intended to be a popularity contest, it became one, and some of you even on this board changed my rules and made it a popularity contest," said Servia. 

Although every commissioner says they like Governor DeSantis and support him, Servia, Whitmore and Bellamy voted against the name, while Satcher, Kruse, Van Ostenbridge and Baugh voted in favor.

“I think in the last couple of years he has earned that right in Manatee County, he did a lot of great things, he kept a lot of businesses open, made it easier for our residents to pay their mortgages, their rent, whatever the case may be, he’s done some great thing in our state and in Manatee County," said Baugh. 

The meeting  was the third and final  over the 17 acres of land just north of Tallevast Road, making the unofficial park, officially, Ron DeSantis Park and while some residents did not see a problem with it.

“If he has been doing a good job, I don’t see a problem with it, they can name it after him, I think its okay," said Manatee County Resident, Marcos Santana. 

Others believe the name will just help Governor DeSantis gain more national attention. 

“He’s only been governor for one term, he is seeking a second term and he is trying to run for president, I think its important that we press pause and get more community input," said Manatee County Resident, Spencer Fogel. 

The park, which is set to open next year will have a dog park, pickle ball courts and a fitness trail.