Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Prepares for Potential 2024 Presidential Run

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is reportedly nearing an announcement that he will run for President in 2024.[0] While DeSantis has not yet officially declared his candidacy, he has taken significant steps that suggest he is preparing to launch a presidential campaign.[1] Last week, the governor formally disassociated himself from his “Friends of Ron DeSantis” state political committee, which has over $81 million in cash on hand.[2] This move was necessary before a federal run, or that money is transferred to a super PAC that is supporting a DeSantis 2024 run.[3] However, Florida law does not place limits on how much someone can give or where the money comes from like federal law does. Politico reported that the near $86 million currently in the committee funds could be moved to a super-PAC supporting DeSantis only if he is not directly involved with the committee.[4]

DeSantis has been traveling to multiple early presidential primary states and battleground states since March to promote his recent book and his track record in Florida, dubbed the “Freedom Blueprint.”[3] He has also been meeting with state lawmakers behind closed doors. A pro-DeSantis PAC, Never Back Down, is building a campaign infrastructure in Iowa and bringing on key staffers.[5] During a speech in Sioux Center, Iowa, DeSantis lauded his own accomplishments in Florida and joked that Florida is the “Iowa of the Southeast” because of how the two states similarly handled the COVID-19 pandemic and are now tackling education issues.[3]

While DeSantis was once a close Trump ally, he has increasingly come under fire from the former president as he gets closer to a potential run.[6] The GOP’s potential presidential nominees for 2024 are primarily Trump and DeSantis.[7] DeSantis, who indicated an official announcement on a presidential run would not come until after his state’s legislative session is over, said on Friday a decision could come “relatively soon.” A recent poll conducted in late April showed DeSantis trailing Trump by a stunning 46 points in a hypothetical 2024 GOP primary race.[7]

Despite the growing speculation around DeSantis’ presidential bid, the governor’s team declined to provide any comment for this story.[8] However, it is clear that DeSantis is making moves elsewhere.[9] The DeSantis political operation is currently housed in downtown Tallahassee, but staffers are set to make a short move to a new downtown location that will serve as a more official campaign home.[10] The move will require the not-yet-filed campaign to spend more than $5,000, and under Federal Election Commission guidelines, when someone running for federal office spends more than $5,000, they are required to register, file financial reports, and designate a principal campaign committee.[10] The submission of those documents would represent the most authoritative indication to date, in written form, of the Florida governor’s intention to run for president in 2024.[3]

0. “DeSantis might be running for president soon” WJXT News4JAX , 8 May. 2023, https://www.news4jax.com/video/news/morning-show/2023/05/08/desantis-might-be-running-for-president-soon/

1. “DeSantis allies could shift $86 million to help him run for president as watchdogs cry foul” CNBC, 12 May. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/05/12/desantis-allies-could-shift-millions-for-presidential-bid.html

2. “DeSantis takes major step ahead of expected presidential bid” POLITICO, 9 May. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/05/09/desantis-2024-campaign-political-committee-00095947

3. “DeSantis’ HQ set to move, kickstarting window for potential 2024 filing” 550 KTSA, 14 May. 2023, https://www.ktsa.com/desantis-hq-set-to-move-kickstarting-window-for-potential-2024-filing

4. “DeSantis Separates From Main Political Committee, A Step Required Before His Presidential Bid” Forbes, 9 May. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/mollybohannon/2023/05/09/desantis-separates-from-main-political-committee-a-step-required-before-his-presidential-bid

5. “DeSantis’ political operation set to move headquarters, kickstarting window for potential 2024 campaign filing” CBS News, 14 May. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ron-desantis-political-operation-headquarters-to-move-kickstart-window-potential-2024-presidential-campaign-filing

6. “‘You Ain’t Ready, Baby’: Ex-RNC Chair Gives Ron DeSantis A Blunt 2024 Warning” HuffPost, 12 May. 2023, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/michael-steele-ron-desantis_n_645de316e4b094269bb36ccf

7. “Former Trump campaign adviser endorses DeSantis” The Hill, 9 May. 2023, https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/3996216-former-trump-campaign-adviser-endorses-desantis

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. “The Congressional Black Caucus is looking to reignite another voting rights push, in response to the Supreme Court …” POLITICO, 9 May. 2023, https://www.politico.com/minutes/congress/05-9-2023/cbc-reignites-voting-push/

10. “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

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