Another Republican with knowledge of the conversation said DeSantis’ advisers recently met to discuss the 2024 election. Republicans spoke on condition of anonymity about the closed-door talks.
Some people in DeSantis’ orbit expect Cox and Peck to play a role in DeSantis’ execution if that happens. Cox, the former executive director of the Republican Governors Association, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Peck was also the campaign manager for DeSantis’ decisive midterm victory over Democrat Charlie Christ.
A spokeswoman for DeSantis did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.
DeSantis is widely seen as a formidable potential challenger to former President Donald Trump, who is set to make stops in New Hampshire and South Carolina on Saturday after announcing his campaign in November. Hitting the road for the first time over the weekend. Several recent polls show DeSantis is ahead of Trump, and a survey released this week puts him among New Hampshire Republican primary voters as governor. was leading the former president.
Bill Bowen, a New Hampshire Republican delegate, said enthusiasm for the DeSantis campaign was high in his state. I’m sure we have a great network of people from different parties,” Bowen said.
However, DeSantis has said little about his 2024 ambitions and avoided questions about his plans. His reelection margin in Florida last fall was his 19 points, cementing his status as a rising star within the party. Just as many Republicans have renewed doubts about Trump’s ability to deliver a conservative victory after many of his favorite candidates lost key elections in the midterms. .
DeSantis is one of many Republicans moving toward participating in the 2024 presidential election. His replacement candidates include members of the Trump administration such as former Vice President Mike Pence, as well as many other governors. Some of them have aligned themselves with Trump, while others have been vocal critics of the former president.
DeSantis, a former congressman, narrowly won his first term as governor in 2018 after pitching himself as a staunch Trump ally and winning the former president’s endorsement. He quickly rose to national prominence for his response to the pandemic, lifting restrictions earlier than many other governors and opposing mask and vaccine mandates.
He sees himself as an enemy of the “awakened” left, embracing a fight over divisive social issues and working with the Republican-led Florida legislature to limit discussion in schools about sexual orientation and gender identity. and feuded with Disney after Disney leadership criticized the policy.
In his second term, DeSantis became more involved in the battle to revitalize Republican supporters. Within weeks, he tried to rebuild a public liberal arts college with conservative board members. He faced backlash from civil rights leaders and Democrats over his administration’s decision to ban higher education courses on African American studies. And he’s unveiled measures against what his office calls a “biomedical security state,” featuring baseless doctors. claimed How the coronavirus vaccine caused the death of Elvis Presley’s daughter.
With a Republican overwhelming majority in the state legislature, DeSantis is further empowered to enact his agenda this term, with Republicans supporting abortion, data privacy, the “constitutional carry” of firearms, and the “environmental, social and governance We expect to address issues such as the use of ” (ESG). An investment standard criticized by some conservatives.
DeSantis has made a name for himself across state lines, but he has never campaigned nationally, leaving some Republicans wondering if his success will last. maximum political stage.
This week, in an interview with conservative activist Charlie Kirk, he praised Republican National Committee chairman candidate Hermit Dillon when he said, “I think we need change.” One measure of his ability to persuade public insiders emerged. On Friday, Dillon lost to incumbent Ronna McDaniel.