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DeSantis will enter the 2024 presidential race, say Republicans

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to enter the 2024 GOP presidential race next week, two Republicans familiar with the matter told CNN starting his long-awaited bid to fight for the future of former President Donald Trump’s party.

DeSantis will file paperwork declaring his candidacy next week on the Federal Election Commission, one Republican said, with a formal announcement expected the following week in Dunedin, his Florida hometown.

DeSantis is likely to start the campaign as early as Wednesday to coincide with filing paperwork, according to a Republican adviser close to the governor’s policy team.

However, another source warned that planning remains a moving target, and DeSantis has been known to surprise even his closest allies and advisers with last-minute changes.

DeSantis, who often boasts of running a leak-free operation, may be even more motivated to scrap the script to anger media outlets that preempted his announcement, the source said.

“With him, it’s always a possibility,” the source added.

But the machinery for a launch is already in motion, as dozens of its top fundraisers and donors have been summoned to South Florida under the assumption that they will be asked to start building a war chest for DeSantis’ presidential campaign. .

By officially submitting your paperwork, your supporters can start soliciting donations on your behalf.

About 100 hotel rooms have been booked at the Four Seasons in Miami, which will host receptions for donors, briefings with DeSantis’ political team and sessions in which attendees will dial in dollars, according to two sources familiar with the details. The goal is for each fundraiser to bring in between US$100,000 (about R$496,000) and US$150,000 (about R$745,000).

A spokesman for DeSantis’ political operation did not respond to a request for comment.

An announcement over Memorial Day weekend is on the earlier side of the timeline that the governor’s political operation was targeting six months ago, when planning a release after Florida’s legislative session.

That suggests DeSantis is responding to donors and supporters eager to see him enter the race and challenge Trump more directly. Polls show the former president remains firmly in the lead, while DeSantis has lost some momentum during the elaborate launch of his long-awaited campaign, which has included a book launch and tour, a dozen appearances at local Republican Party, an international trip, the creation of a super political action committee (PAC), a donor retreat near Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, and a blitz on conservative media.

Along the way, DeSantis stumbled at times, drawing bad press for his wavering views on the Russia-Ukraine war, prolonging his feud with Disney into a second year, and being blindsided when Trump revealed endorsements of Florida Republicans in Congress shortly after. before the governor visited Washington to gather support.

However, DeSantis’ allies believe the trajectory of the race will change significantly once he is officially a candidate and responds to Trump’s attacks and more forcefully shares his vision for the country.

According to The New York Times, DeSantis told donors and supporters during a call on Thursday that there were only three credible candidates in the race — himself, President Joe Biden and Trump — and that only he and Biden had chance of winning the general election.

DeSantis said on the conference call, which was hosted by Never Back Down, a super PAC closely aligned with the governor, that the data from the swing states “wasn’t good for the former president and probably insurmountable because people aren’t going to change their view. about him,” reported the Times.

DeSantis has spent the last few weeks tying up loose ends — quickly signing dozens of bills that land on his desk, meeting with donors in Tallahassee and South Florida, and gathering endorsements to spur its launch.

He spent Saturday in Iowa, where he appeared to top Trump, making an unannounced visit to a steakhouse in Des Moines – minutes from where the former president canceled a rally due to the threat of weather. While in state, DeSantis established the framework for his case against Trump.

“If we make 2024 a referendum on Joe Biden and his failures and provide a positive alternative for the future of this country, the Republicans will win across the board,” DeSantis told Iowa caucus voters at the Sioux Center.

“If we don’t do that, if we get distracted, if we focus on past elections or other secondary issues, I think the Democrats are going to beat us again and I think it’s going to be very difficult to recover from that defeat.”

On Friday, DeSantis will travel to another early nomination state, New Hampshire, to meet with state legislators — many of whom endorsed him earlier this week — for a policy roundtable, according to three sources familiar with the planning. .

Never Back Down has in recent weeks released dozens of major endorsements for the governor of Iowa and New Hampshire. On Wednesday, the super PAC also announced endorsements from 99 Florida lawmakers — a show of strength from the grassroots Republicans who helped push DeSantis’ agenda through the state legislature this spring.

“Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida legislature have worked together to achieve historic results and produce conservative victories for the people of Florida – transforming the state into a beacon of freedom and the fastest growing state in the nation,” said the spokeswoman. from Never Back Down, Erin Perrine.

The Trump campaign dismissed the Florida endorsements as politically motivated, noting that DeSantis had not yet signed off on the state budget, for which he has veto power over state lawmakers’ pet bills.

“There are some brave lawmakers who have stood up to DeSantis’ swamp-like behavior and resisted his intimidation tactics to do what is right for Florida and the country,” said Trump spokesman Steven Cheung. “Those he cannot control — including nearly the entire federal delegation to the Florida Congress — have endorsed President Trump because he is the only candidate who can defeat Joe Biden and retake the White House.”

(Kit Maher, da CNN contributed to this text)

Source: CNN Brasil

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