After months of buildup and speculation, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida is expected to officially enter the 2024 White House race next week.
The popular two-term conservative governor will file formal paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) next week to declare his candidacy for president, sources familiar with the governor’s decision confirm to Fox News. The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The filing by DeSantis will coincide with his meeting next week in Miami, Florida with top financial backers, one source told Fox Digital. By law, DeSantis cannot receive or ask for contributions for a presidential campaign unless he has formally declared his candidacy.
By filing with the FEC, DeSantis would be free to solicit donations from donors at the gathering in Miami, which would set in motion a likely fundraising blitz.
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DeSantis set a gubernatorial fundraising record last cycle, and had $110 million cash on hand in his fundraising committees at the start of the spring. Much of that money could likely be transferred to Never Back Down, a super PAC backing the expected DeSantis presidential campaign.
A formal campaign kick-off event will likely take place sometime after next week’s donor gathering, but no details have been shared by the campaign.
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DeSantis has made a series of moves in recent days indicating that a campaign launch would be imminent.
Among them was the move Monday by DeSantis’ political team from the Republican Party of Florida headquarters — where it has been housed following last November’s gubernatorial election — to new offices.
Additionally, a further signal was the move by the governor last week to sever ties with Friends of Ron DeSantis, his longtime political state committee, in order to comply with federal campaign finance regulations.
While the popular two-term conservative governor remains on the 2024 sidelines, he said last week that he will decide “relatively soon” whether he will launch a 2024 GOP presidential campaign. During stops in Iowa, whose caucuses lead off the GOP presidential nominating calendar, DeSantis was asked whether a 2024 announcement was near. “No news yet,” DeSantis said.
However, the governor’s multiple stops in the early voting presidential primary and caucus states since March, along with his expanding of his political team in Tallahassee, were clear signs that DeSantis was moving toward a 2024 presidential campaign launch.
As Fox News first reported this week, DeSantis will return on Friday to New Hampshire, which holds the first primary and second overall contest in the GOP nominating calendar.
Republican primary polling indicates DeSantis is the top rival to former President Donald Trump — who is making his third straight White House run. The governor is firmly in second place in the surveys behind Trump, but well ahead of the rest of the pack of actual and likely GOP White House contenders.
Trump has repeatedly attacked DeSantis in recent months, but the governor to date has mostly resisted returning fire.
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