Following months of speculation and buildup, GOP Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is officially entering the 2024 race for the White House. Sources confirm that the conservative governor will declare his candidacy for president Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET during a conversation on Twitter with Elon Musk.
Along with his announcement, DeSantis is expected to file paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, officially launching his Republican presidential campaign. Although he’s remained on the 2024 sidelines for months, DeSantis has been considered in the top tier of GOP nomination contenders, behind former President Donald Trump and ahead of the other actual and likely candidates in almost every Republican primary poll. DeSantis’ announcement coincides with his meeting this week in Miami with top financial backers.
A formal event to kick off the campaign will likely happen sometime after this week’s donor gathering, but the campaign has not yet shared details. The move by the two-term Florida governor has now turned into a virtual two-person battle for the GOP nomination between Trump and DeSantis.
Last year, DeSantis regularly dismissed talk of a presidential run as he focused on his gubernatorial reelection. However, he began dropping hints of a potential presidential bid shortly after his reelection. DeSantis has showcased how his victories as governor have “transformed” Florida from a top general election battleground state “into the nation’s leading red state,” emphasizing that his policy wins in Florida can serve as a roadmap for the nation.
The Florida governor has scored a series of policy victories, including stricter immigration laws, restrictions on diversity and gender instruction in schools, a six-week abortion law, and green-lighting the ability to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, all occurred during Florida’s recently-concluded legislative session.
DeSantis enters the race in a relatively strong position
Gov. DeSantis enters the race in a relatively strong position. He is firmly ensconced in second place and well ahead of the rest of the field of potential and actual contenders for the White House, but his poll numbers have slipped since earlier in the year. DeSantis built up a massive war chest during his gubernatorial reelection campaign. Much of the money could be transferred to the Never Back Down super PAC backing DeSantis’ bid for the White House.
The Florida governor joins a field that includes Trump and former two-term South Carolina governor and ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, former two-term Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina.
Additionally vying for the nomination are conservative radio talk show host and former California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder, conservative commentator, best-selling author, and multimillionaire entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and 2022 gubernatorial candidate Perry Johnson.
The field is also likely to include former Vice President Mike Pence, who is predicted to launch a campaign in the coming weeks.