Ron DeSantis is, according to polls, the only Republican politician currently capable of overshadowing Donald Trump in the race for the GOP nomination as the 2024 presidential candidate. The Florida governor's stature has grown considerably since he first attained office in 2018, backed by the then President Trump. Conscientious and hard-working, he stands out for his good management skills and for being a man who keeps his promises and remains true to his principles. His war on woke culture has made him known outside the boundaries of his home state, multiplying his supporters and haters.
Ronald Dion DeSantis was born 44 years ago in Jacksonville, Florida. He has always emphasized his "blue-collar roots," being the son of a nurse and a Nielsen audience meter installer. Italian blood also runs through his veins, his eighth great-grandparents having been born in the transalpine country. He graduated from Yale and Harvard Law School and worked as a lawyer and officer in the Navy.
Casey, his "secret weapon"
In 2010 he married Casey, with whom he has three children. A journalist, television broadcaster and Emmy Award winner, his wife has played a key role in DeSantis' political career, which she has always supported. Ron himself calls it his "secret weapon." Her twitter account was the first to release what appears to be the video announcing her husband's candidacy.
America is worth the fight... Every. Single. Time. pic.twitter.com/lWNQ3DIXgp
— Casey DeSantis (@CaseyDeSantis) May 23, 2023
Trump's endorsement for Florida governor
His interest in politics led him to fight for a seat in the House of Representatives at a very young age, something he achieved for the first time in 2012. He considered running for a Senate seat, but resigned after Marcos Rubio announced his intention to defend his seat in the upper chamber. In 2016 he revalidated his seat in Congress, although he resigned two years later after prevailing in the conservative primary to run for governor of the sunshine state.
During the primaries he had Trump's endorsement, which DeSantis himself highlighted in his campaign. For example, in a family video in which the then candidate teaches his children to "build the wall" to contain illegal immigration or shows them the name of the then president with the slogan "Make America Great Again."
He narrowly defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum by a margin of 32,000 votes and, after taking office, became the youngest U.S. governor in history. Once in office, he put his political ideals into practice, regardless of political correctness.
Liberty vs covid, freedom with the 2nd Amendment
During his first term in office, the covid pandemic occurred. Once again, DeSantis' commitment to individual freedom could be seen, which he put before the restrictions and closures decreed in much of the country. In a recent interview with John Stossel, the Florida governor reaffirmed his measures and assured that time has proven him right.
I just had to make the decision as a leader. Are you gonna worry about the daily news cycle? Worry about your personal popularity? I did not know how it was going to work out politically. I was going to do what I thought was right. If you look at excess mortality, we were the lowest in the Sunbelt and had lower excess mortality than California and New York.
He also opposed making the mask mandatory, in a new nod to the defense of the individual: "You have freedom (The Administration and stores) to choose, but so do individuals. In Florida, we have consistently sided with the individual."
This defense of individual liberty is also found in his support for the Second Amendment. In 2023, it enacted a rule allowing citizens of the state to carry concealed weapons without a permit.
"Florida is where woke culture goes to die"
His war on the woke culture, ever present in his tenure, has intensified since the campaign for his reelection in 2022, a campaign in which he swept past his Democratic rival, Charlie Christ, by more than 1.5 million votes. During the victory speech, Desantis made his position clear: "We will never ever surrender to the Woke mob! Florida is where the Woke culture goes to die."
As governor, he has promoted and sanctioned laws such as the Stop Woke Act, a set of standards for Letting children be children, which includes the prohibition of sex change operations to minors (mutilation, as stated in the text), expanding parental rights in education and eliminating the obligation to "declare" pronouns that do not correspond to the biological sex; outlawing drag shows for children; ensuring that boys and girls change in changing rooms according to their biological sex and "protecting women's sports. The "preventing the participation of transgender people in women's competitions.
Nor has he neglected the economic front in his battle against woke culture. Thus, it has defunded Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs at state universities and blocked investments based on Environmental, Social or Governance (ESG) criteria.
Florida students and teachers will no longer have to “declare” their pronouns in school or be forced to use pronouns not based on biological sex.
Our teachers will focus on what matters — reading, writing, and arithmetic. pic.twitter.com/XviQB23lLF
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 17, 2023
DeSantis vs. Disney, the battle that never stops
Another part of their struggle on this front is the legal battle with Disney over the entertainment company's woke drift, which has led to the enactment of laws by the state that are currently in the courts and the filing of a number of other lawsuits yet to be heard in the courts.
I signed legislation to end Disney’s self-governing status, placed the area in state receivership, and appointed 5 members to a state control board.
Disney no longer has its own government, will live under the same laws as everyone else and pay its debts and fair share of taxes. pic.twitter.com/5JnZmEjSdv
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 27, 2023
Defense of life, death penalty...
In addition to the culture war, it has sanctioned the prohibition of abortion after six weeks, the elimination of the need for a unanimous jury vote to sentence a defendant to death, and that child rapists can be sentenced to capital punishment. The immigration crisis has also prompted the governor to sign a rule that toughens penalties for those who help undocumented immigrants enter Florida or those who knowingly employ them illegally.
To curb Chinese influence in the U.S., DeSantis pushed through legislation to prevent Chinese purchases of land near "critical infrastructure" and banned the use of TikTok on the devices of state officials or teachers.