Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has officially entered the 2024 presidential race.
DeSantis filed the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) Wednesday afternoon ahead of his highly-anticipated special live-streamed event on Twitter with the platform’s owner, Elon Musk. With his entrance into the race, many political pundits and analysts now view the Republican Party primary as a two-horse race between DeSantis and former President Donald Trump — both of whom are polling significantly higher than the rest of the field.
The 44-year-old governor was born in Jacksonville, but was raised on the other side of the state in Dunedin. DeSantis excelled in academics and athletics growing up, eventually playing baseball at Yale and later obtaining his law degree with honors from Harvard Law School. After law school, DeSantis joined the U.S. Navy as a JAG officer and was deployed to Iraq as an adviser to U.S. Navy SEALs in Fallujah and Ramadi.
DeSantis’ campaign is expected to be largely centered around the enormous achievements that he has secured as governor for the state of Florida, dubbed the “Florida Blueprint,” and on how he can transfer those successes to the national level as President of the United States.
The governor’s rise to the top of the Republican Party was cemented by his handling of the COVID pandemic, which included bucking Dr. Anthony Fauci, the public health official whom the previous administration repeatedly took advice from throughout the course of the pandemic, and resisting draconian measures that impeded the freedoms of people in his state. As a result, the state led the country in net-in migration over the last couple of years.
Due to the governor’s overwhelming popularity in the state — which was made clear last year with his 19-point blowout victory during his re-election — the state’s legislature largely does what he says in implementing his agenda.
Some of the key legislative victories that he has secured this year alone include:
- Protecting Florida’s children from permanent mutilating surgical procedures, gender identity politics in schools; protecting them from attending sexually explicit adult performances; and protecting them from woke pronoun usage in schools.
- Prohibiting institutions from spending federal or state dollars on discriminatory initiatives, such as so-called “diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)” programs, and banning political loyalty tests.
- Combatting human trafficking by strengthens criminal penalties against traffickers and creating civil actions that victims can take to recover damages and attorney’s fees from adult entertainment establishments.
- Sending more than 1,100 assists to the help secure the U.S. southern border from the illegal immigration crisis caused by President Joe Biden’s policies.
- Banning federally adopted central bank digital currency (CBDC) by excluding it from the definition of money within Florida’s Uniform Commercial Code and banning foreign-issued CBDC to protect consumers against globalist efforts to adopt a worldwide digital currency.
- Protecting Floridians from medical mandates and prohibiting dangerous gain-of-function research.
- Signing the strongest anti-illegal immigration legislation in the country into law.
- Cracking down on Chinese Communist Party influence in the state by banning their ability to purchase agriculture land and land near military bases and critical infrastructure, protecting digital data from Chinese spies, and stopping their influence in the education system.
- Protecting Floridians from the corporatist environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) movement — a worldwide effort to inject woke political ideology across the financial sector, placing politics above the fiduciary duty to make the best financial decisions for beneficiaries.
- Signing into law his third consecutive anti-crime, pro-public safety legislative package that strengthens pre-trial detention and pushes back against “bail reform” efforts, increases sentences for drug traffickers that target children, and subjects child rapists to the death penalty.
- Strengthening Floridians’ Second Amendment rights by allowing Floridians to carry concealed weapons without a government-issued permit.
- Expanding available school choice options for all students in Florida by eliminating financial eligibility restrictions and the current enrollment cap.
- Ending Disney’s self-governing status and special privileges — which no other company in the state had — and forcing them to play by the same rules as everyone else.
- Protecting unborn babies by signing a heartbeat bill into law that bans abortion the moment that a heartbeat can be detected.
Of the 113 Republicans in the Florida legislature, 99 of them endorsed DeSantis for president last week while only one — state sen. Joe Gruters — endorsed the former president.
But even Gruters could not deny the overwhelming impact that DeSantis has had on advancing the conservative agenda in the state.
“We’ve had conservative leadership in Florida for the past 23 years, but we’ve passed more conservative bills in the past two years than the previous 20, and more this year than the past 22,” Gruters said. “It’s a rocket ship, a steam engine.”
James Uthmeier, a former official in the Trump administration who now serves as DeSantis’ chief-of-staff, said he’s never seen someone get as hands-on as DeSantis when it comes to crafting legislation and getting it passed.
“He sits and talks through the nitty-gritty of policy and the budget,” Uthmeier said. “He’s ingrained in the process in a way I haven’t seen working in the Trump Administration or with other public officials.”