Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis seemed to indicate Monday that he does not plan to run for president in 2024, leading many to conclude that former President Donald Trump will make another White House run.
DeSantis quietly filed paperwork to officially kick off his gubernatorial re-election campaign. The Harvard Law School graduate and Navy veteran was elected in 2018, and his term expires in January 2023.
Florida's future is on the line, & we have too much to lose to stop now. I've fought like hell to keep FL free & I can tell you this: I've only begun to fight!
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantisFL) November 8, 2021
While filing for re-election does not prevent DeSantis from running for president in 2024, it’s considered a strong indication that he’s more focused on continuing his leadership role in Florida — and a possible sign that he might be aware of Trump’s electoral plans.
The governor touted his stellar record, telling Fox News on Monday that he has “delivered on all fronts: Florida’s economy is strong, we’ve boosted teacher pay, made historic investments in Everglades restoration and water quality, signed strong election integrity legislation, provided unparalleled support for law enforcement and appointed strong constitutionalists to our state courts.”
DeSantis also underscored that he has resisted oppressive coronavirus restrictions despite being attacked by Democrats and their media lapdogs.
“I also protected individual Floridians and small businesses by keeping Florida open and stood up for students and parents by ensuring schools provided in-person instruction and by championing the rights of parents,” he said.
“We’ve also taken on Big Tech censorship, banned sanctuary cities, ensured that municipalities cannot defund law enforcement and stood up to the Biden regime … And I’ve only just begun to fight.”
Speculation has been building for months that DeSantis could run for president in 2024, given his off-the-charts popularity among Republicans. In June, the governor topped Trump in a straw poll at the Western Conservative Summit.
DeSantis’ meteoric ascent is not surprising, since he won widespread praise from conservatives for his deft handling of the pandemic, which included prioritizing the elderly and lifting oppressive restrictions such as extended shutdowns, mask mandates and school closures.
In May, he also made a bold, pre-emptive move to block Big Tech censorship of conservatives by making it a crime for social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook to deplatform state political candidates or journalistic enterprises such as Project Veritas.
Florida is the first state to hold Big Tech accountable by requiring social media platforms to publish detailed standards and to apply them fairly. Social media companies will no longer be able to hide behind vague language as to why they censored a Floridian’s post. pic.twitter.com/lt3uPK1EsI
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 25, 2021
In May, DeSantis signed a new election integrity law that strengthens voter identification, bars the mass mailing of ballots and ballot harvesting and prohibits private money from administering elections in Florida.
And in June, he banned the indoctrination of the divisive critical race theory in schools, saying he will not allow left-wing propagandists to “teach kids to hate each other” and “to hate our country.”
Given DeSantis’ immense popularity in Florida, it’s hard to see any Democratic contender defeating him.
Florida’s education system exists to create opportunity for our children. Critical Race Theory teaches kids to hate our country and to hate each other. It is state-sanctioned racism and has no place in Florida schools. pic.twitter.com/ludv7ARgNP
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 10, 2021
While many on the right remain staunch Trump supporters, some are concerned that his bombastic, contentious style could alienate voters who are on the fence in 2024.
The brash billionaire’s blunt rhetoric was extremely effective at energizing his base, but it also had the unintended effect of mobilizing his adversaries — making everything he tried to achieve an uphill battle.
Despite some of his shortfalls, Trump remains the undisputed leader of the GOP who continues to draw massive crowds at political rallies even though we’re not even in election season.
The former president has repeatedly hinted that he will run again in 2024. However, he said he’ll wait until after the 2022 midterm elections before dropping a formal announcement.
“I think a lot of people will be very happy, frankly, with the decision, and probably will announce that after the midterms,” Trump told Fox News on Monday.
He added that “a lot of great people who are thinking about running are waiting for that decision, because they’re not going to run if I run.”