Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Expected to Announce Candidacy for 2024 Presidential Election

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to announce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election next week, signaling the start of the 2024 election cycle.[0] DeSantis has been building a legislative record that he can champion on the national stage, while also waging a quasi-campaign.[1] He is expected to make his announcement as Republican fundraisers gather in Miami, with official paperwork declaring his candidacy expected to be filed on May 25.[2]

The governor’s campaign comes after a Florida legislative session this month in which he burnished his hard-right credentials by dialing up restrictions on discussing gender in schools, scrapped diversity programs at colleges, cracked down on illegal immigration, and signed a six-week abortion ban into law.[2] In addition to airing television commercials targeting Donald Trump, who is currently Governor DeSantis’ primary opponent for the Republican nomination, the declaration by the governor will align with the messaging of the Never Back Down PAC, which supports DeSantis.[2]

DeSantis is also expected to hold an event launching his candidacy in Dunedin, his hometown, after Memorial Day.[3] A more formal kickoff event is expected to follow closer to June 1, which will likely occur in Dunedin.[4]

For several months, DeSantis has been preparing for a potential White House campaign by traveling extensively to important states in the Republican primary process and meeting with foreign leaders abroad.[3] Many believe that he is the primary competitor to Trump in the race for the GOP presidential candidacy.

DeSantis is showcasing his Florida track record as a model for his national agenda while introducing himself to Republican voters throughout the nation.[5] However, the main concerns currently revolve around DeSantis and whether he possesses the courage to persevere and contend with Trump.

DeSantis has conveyed to his backers and contributors that he is aware of the apprehensions regarding his preparedness to confront Trump.[5] According to a source who attended several meetings at the governor’s mansion, DeSantis held discussions with numerous major donors of the party. During the meetings, his staff was introduced and the donors were presented with what appeared to be a proposal for voter outreach.[5] After a long period of avoiding the mainstream press, his political team has started reaching out to both national and local media during his travels.[5]

According to sources familiar with the plans, the DeSantis political operation will soon relocate to a new downtown location, which will serve as the official campaign headquarters. Currently based in downtown Tallahassee, the staff will make a short move to the new office.[6] The move comes as Team DeSantis is taking special care to court donors, inviting bundlers to the Four Seasons in Miami next week for a retreat aimed at pumping up his campaign war chest for his official launch.[7]

Pro-DeSantis accounts hold over $100 million in reserves for DeSantis.[8] He is building goodwill with state party leaders by headlining fundraisers.[8] He remains, in public polls, the most serious rival to Trump. And a supportive super PAC called Never Back Down is staffing up across more than a dozen states, has already spent more than $10 million on television ads, and has peppered early states with direct mail.[8]

DeSantis must declare his candidacy before soliciting contributions in compliance with federal election laws.[9] DeSantis is expected to signal to donors next week that it is time to start asking their wealthy friends for checks. His official announcement will be followed by a staggered rollout of endorsements that have been held in reserve until he gets in the race.[10] The DeSantis-supporting Never Back Down PAC previously announced the Florida governor has been endorsed by dozens of legislators in the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.[11]

Although DeSantis did not explicitly mention Trump’s name, he responded directly to Trump’s criticism of Florida’s six-week abortion ban in an interview with The Messenger. Trump had suggested that the ban was too severe, and DeSantis offered a clear response to this comment.[4]

It remains to be seen if DeSantis has what it takes to compete with Trump in the primary, but he has been steadily building support and laying the groundwork for a presidential campaign. With his announcement next week, the 2024 election cycle will officially begin.

0. “Ron DeSantis ‘to launch 2024 presidential bid during Pride Month'” PinkNews, 17 May. 2023, https://www.thepinknews.com/2023/05/17/ron-desantis-2024-presidential-bid-announcement/

1. “DeSantis Will Reportedly Run For President Next Week—Here’s What We Know About His Campaign” Forbes, 18 May. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/saradorn/2023/05/18/desantis-will-reportedly-run-for-president-next-week-heres-what-we-know-about-his-campaign/

2. “Ron DeSantis Will Officially Announce 2024 Race Next Week, Reports Say” The Daily Beast, 18 May. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/ron-desantis-will-officially-announce-2024-race-next-week-reports-say

3. “DeSantis to unveil presidential campaign next week: reports” The Hill, 18 May. 2023, https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/4010133-desantis-to-unveil-presidential-campaign-next-week-reports/

4. “Ron DeSantis to launch presidential campaign next week, sources say” CBS News, 18 May. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ron-desantis-to-launch-2024-presidential-campaign-next-week-sources-florida-governor/

5. “DeSantis nears presidential campaign launch far from peak popularity but signaling a new readiness to take on Trump” CNN, 16 May. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/15/politics/desantis-trump-presidential-campaign-launch/index.html

6. “DeSantis team moves hint at impending presidential announcement” WPTV News Channel 5 West Palm, 15 May. 2023, https://www.wptv.com/news/political/desantis-team-moves-hint-at-impending-presidential-announcement

7. “Ron DeSantis expands his circle as he prepares his 2024 launch” NBC News, 17 May. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2024-election/ron-desantis-expands-circle-prepares-2024-launch-rcna84744

8. “The 2024 DeSantis Campaign Faltered Before it Even Started. What Now?” The New York Times, 13 May. 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/13/us/politics/desantis-trump-2024.html

9. “Ron DeSantis is on the verge of announcing his presidential bid” NBC News, 12 May. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2024-election/ron-desantis-verge-announcing-presidential-bid-rcna84256

10. “Gov. Ron DeSantis set to enter 2024 presidential race next week” New York Post , 18 May. 2023, https://nypost.com/2023/05/18/desantis-expected-to-formally-launch-2024-run-next-week/

11. “DeSantis expected to enter 2024 presidential race next week” WTOP, 18 May. 2023, https://wtop.com/presidential-election/2023/05/desantis-expected-to-enter-2024-presidential-race-next-week/

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