This past weekend, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida met with some of his most powerful donors as he considered his next political steps following his resounding victory in last month’s gubernatorial election for a second, four-year term.
According to people acquainted with the specifics of the private event, the governor and his wife traveled to Miami on Sunday to participate in what was described as a dinner with prominent donors. It appeared to be the first significant huddle DeSantis had with top-dollar donors since he defeated Charlie Crist by almost 20 points in November’s gubernatorial election in the Sunshine State. Crist had been the incumbent governor of Florida and was a member of the Democratic party.
Sources said that the meal was an occasion for DeSantis to celebrate his landslide victory with his key financial contributors. However, it is likely that the conversation also centered on the governor’s plans, including a potential bid for the White House.
Over the past year and a half, DeSantis has consistently shot down rumors that he may compete for the White House in 2024. Instead, he has maintained his concentration on winning re-election as governor of Florida. However, as he has established a political brand that is recognized from coast to coast, he has emerged as a critical player within the Republican Party, and many political analysts believe that he could one day run for president of the United States.
In the 2024 Republican presidential surveys, DeSantis has seen his poll numbers start to rival President Trump’s, and his fundraising prowess matches that of the former president. Even though former President Trump, who launched his third run for the White House two weeks ago, is considered to be the clear front-runner in the race for the Republican nomination.
Also, in his speech on election night last month, the governor may have hinted at certain plans for 2024 when he declared that
while the country stumbles due to poor leadership in Washington, Florida is on the right track.
At the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership gathering, widely regarded as the first major GOP 2024 presidential cattle call, he gave a keynote presentation two weeks later to repeated standing ovations. The governor reaffirmed his oft-stated belief that there is still work to be done and that the battle is just beginning.
Late in February, DeSantis will issue a memoir about his time in public service, which many observers will interpret as another move by the conservative champion toward a possible presidential bid in 2024.