Ron DeSantis will formally enter the 2024 presidential race next week: Reports

WASHINGTON – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is moving forward with plans to formally announce his 2024 presidential campaign by the end of the month, setting up a an intense Republican battle with Donald Trump, news organizations reported Thursday.

CNN, citing two anonymous Republican sources familiar with the matter, said DeSantis “will file paperwork next week with the Federal Election Commission declaring his candidacy,” with “a formal announcement expected the following week in his hometown of Dunedin, Florida.” The Washington Post also cited two anonymous sources to report DeSantis will move forward next week.

A DeSantis spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

DeSantis has been hinting at a presidential run for months and would formally enter the race at a time when he has become something of an underdog.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Trump currently enjoys fairly big leads in polls for the Republican presidential nomination, despite his indictment in New York City on falsifying business charges and a civil jury decision finding him liable of sexual abuse to writer E. Jean Carroll.

DeSantis supporters say he is doing better in individual states polls, including early contest states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

As for the formal DeSantis rollout, CNN noted that its GOP source “cautioned that the planning remains a moving target and DeSantis is known to surprise even his closest allies with last-minute changes.”

A former congressman who won a Florida governor’s race in 2018, DeSantis built a Republican-heavy political reputation by fighting so-called “woke culture,” resisting COVID restrictions, reducing government regulations, and generally promoting a Trump-like agenda.

For nearly a year, DeSantis has given every indication of planning to run for president, from taking a foreign trip to promoting a legislative agenda that looks much like a 2024 Republican Party platform.

Previous coverage: GOP star Ron DeSantis is overhauling education policy in Florida

DeSantis’ formal filing would come at the end of a Florida legislative session in which the governor targeted DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) and ESG (environmental, social, and governance) programs in schools and businesses.

DeSantis is also embroiled in a legal battle with his state’s most prominent employer, Disney. It sued the governor over his attempts to remove the company’s special tax district, claiming he wants to punish them for opposing an anti-gay bill.

Many Republicans promoted DeSantis’ presidential prospects last year, as he rolled up a landslide re-election bid in Florida that carried the state by more than 19 percentage points.

As DeSantis’ poll numbers rose, Trump and his allies escalated their attacks.

Trump frequently accused DeSantis of neglecting his job as governor while planning to run for the presidency. DeSantis recently signed a bill changing the state’s “resign to run” law to allow him to keep his job as governor while running for president.

In a recent Truth Social post, Trump predicted that DeSantis’ campaign would crash and burn.

“A really bad politician,” Trump said. “Enjoy the trip, Ron!”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ron DeSantis will formally join the 2024 race next week: Reports

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