The New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women has criticized Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for scheduling a town hall meeting on the same day as their annual Lilac Luncheon, which is set to feature former President Donald Trump as a keynote speaker. Christine Peters, the group’s events director, called DeSantis’ move “unprecedented” and accused him of distracting from their most special event of the year. Republican strategist Mike Dennehy also slammed the decision, calling it “the worst strategic move he has exhibited thus far” and warning that it could lead to “death by a thousand cuts” for DeSantis’ presidential aspirations.
DeSantis, who is considered to be the leading contender against Trump in the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is facing high expectations even in states like New Hampshire, where Trump remains widely popular among the conservative electorate. The state was the site of Trump’s first primary win in 2016 and is the first primary and second overall contest in the GOP nominating calendar. This presents a challenge for all GOP candidates, but as the closest competitor to Trump, there is additional pressure on DeSantis to perform well in the state.
The dueling events on June 27 highlight the ongoing battle between DeSantis and Trump for the support of the Republican Party. DeSantis’ campaign event in Hollis will serve as a counterprogram to Trump’s appearance at the Lilac Luncheon in Concord. While DeSantis and Trump have not publicly clashed, their competing events in New Hampshire suggest that the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination is heating up.
The criticism from the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women is particularly noteworthy as the group is a prominent GOP organization that has a strong following in the state. Their decision to speak out against DeSantis’ scheduling conflict suggests that the Florida governor may be losing support among key segments of the Republican Party. It remains to be seen how this will impact DeSantis’ presidential aspirations, but it is clear that he will need to carefully navigate the complex political landscape in New Hampshire if he hopes to win the state and secure the Republican nomination in 2024.
0. “‘It’s just stupid’: DeSantis stumbles in New Hampshire” POLITICO, 26 Jun. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/06/26/ron-desantis-new-hampshire-00103519
1. “DeSantis May Have Signed Up For ‘Death By A Thousand Cuts’ In New Hampshire Skirmish, Says Expert” Benzinga, 26 Jun. 2023, https://www.benzinga.com/news/23/06/33002056/desantis-may-have-signed-up-for-death-by-a-thousand-cuts-in-new-hampshire-skirmish-says-expert
2. “DeSantis, Trump to make dueling stops in crucial presidential primary state in 2024 showdown” Yahoo Life, 21 Jun. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/desantis-trump-dueling-stops-crucial-001834282.html