Ron DeSantis Draws A Crowd On Simi Valley Visit – Supporters and Protesters Alike

On March 5th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis visited the Reagan Library in Simi Valley to talk about his record and new book. The appearance drew a large crowd of supporters and protesters alike. The latter group was seen carrying signs with messages such as “Ron Be Gone” and “Pro-Choice, Pro-Love and Pro-Science”.[0] The protesters were also seen holding rainbow-colored flags and flags supporting President Joe Biden.[0]

The protesters were there to oppose DeSantis’ policies, which they believe are too extreme and don’t represent the people of Florida.[1] They took issue with his so-called Parental Rights in Education law, his “Don’t Say Gay” bill, and his efforts to restrict discussions about LGBTQ+ people in higher grades. They also took issue with his ban on “wokeness” in all its forms.

The 44-year-old Republican was in the county to sign and discuss his new book, “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival.”[0] During his approximately one hour on stage, DeSantis proclaimed that he had managed issues such as COVID, taxes, public education, and more adeptly than those who adopted a “woke ideology.”.[0] He praised parent involvement and a move away from policies favoring diversity, equity and inclusion and lessons related to “critical race theory” in Florida while claiming California teachers unions have a partisan agenda and “pernicious influence.”[0]

While DeSantis did not mention a possible run for the White House, supporters said he sounded less like an author and more like a candidate.[0] The Florida Man’s push into Iowa came at a moment when pundits are also casting for a new protagonist in the next season of America’s Next President.[2] Some speculate DeSantis will announce his presidential bid after session ends in early May.[3]

The protesters received several honks in support from passersby, though some made angry gestures.[0] The counter-protesters stood nearby in support of DeSantis. The group made it clear that they don’t want his thoughts and ideas in their state or anywhere else. As Simi Valley resident Andi Artz said, “Hypocrisy, lies and denial cannot return to the White House in 2024.[0]

0. “DeSantis knocks CA governance” Thousand Oaks Acorn, 9 Mar. 2023,

1. “Polarizing presence” Simi Valley Acorn, 10 Mar. 2023,

2. “Ron DeSantis: Overrated” The New Republic, 13 Mar. 2023,

3. “Checks and balances? Florida’s Republican lawmakers are DeSantis’ legislative lapdogs | Opinion” Miami Herald, 13 Mar. 2023,

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