Following a long period of anticipation and conjecture, Florida’s Republican Governor, Ron DeSantis, is officially announcing his candidacy for the 2024 presidential elections. Insider information from multiple media outlets confirms that the conservative governor is set to publicly affirm his presidential aspirations on Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET in a Twitter discussion with Elon Musk. Alongside his declaration, it’s anticipated that DeSantis will submit his application to the Federal Election Commission, thereby formally initiating his Republican presidential campaign.
Despite not actively participating in the 2024 Republican race so far, DeSantis has consistently been a strong contender for the Republican nomination for the past several months. He is placed behind ex-President Donald Trump and leads the rest of the pack in nearly all GOP primary polls. His official announcement aligns with his financial backers’ summit in Miami this week. High-level donors will gather at the Four Seasons hotel from May 24-26, where they’ll receive campaign updates and allocate time to solicit funds for the campaign. A formal campaign inauguration event is expected to be scheduled after this week’s fundraising assembly, though no specifics have been disclosed yet.
The 44-year-old DeSantis, significantly younger than Trump by over three decades, initially won his gubernatorial election in 2018 with considerable support from the then-president. However, he has since forged a national political identity, garnering substantial popularity among conservatives nationwide over the last three years. This surge is attributed to his strong stance against Covid-19 restrictions and his decisive role as a cultural lightning rod taking on media, corporations, and school unions. While he previously downplayed the possibility of a 2024 presidential run, focusing instead on his re-election as governor, hints of a potential presidential run began surfacing with his victorious re-election speech last November. DeSantis achieved a landmark 19-point victory in Florida, a historically contentious state.
Before his political career as U.S. Congressman and Florida’s Governor, DeSantis served in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. His successes as governor have turned Florida from a key general election battleground into a stronghold for the Republican party. He believes his policy victories in Florida could potentially serve as a blueprint for the nation. Recent actions indicate that his campaign was on the horizon. DeSantis also ended his relationship with Friends of Ron DeSantis, his long-standing state political committee, in order to align with federal campaign finance rules.
Entering the 2024 contest, DeSantis holds a solid position. He is a firm second in an increasingly crowded race, far surpassing other current and potential Republican candidates. With that being the case, his polling figures have recently declined relative to Trump. Regarding fundraising, DeSantis possesses a significant campaign fund accumulated during his gubernatorial re-election campaign last year. Setting a fundraising record in the 2022 cycle, his committees held $110 million at the beginning of spring, much of which could potentially be directed towards Never Back Down, a super PAC supporting his presidential endeavor.