TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis entered the 2024 presidential race on Wednesday, stepping into a crowded Republican primary contest that will test both his national appeal as a cultural conservative firebrand and the GOP’s willingness to move on from former President Donald Trump.
The 44-year-old Republican revealed his decision in a Federal Election Commission filing before an online conversation with Twitter CEO Elon Musk.
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It marks a new chapter in his rise from little-known congressman to two-term governor to a leading figure in the nation’s bitter fights over race, gender, abortion, and other divisive issues. DeSantis is considered to be Trump’s strongest Republican rival even as the governor faces questions about his readiness for the national stage.
DeSantis’ audio-only announcement was to be streamed on Twitter Spaces beginning at 6 p.m. EDT. He was following up with prime-time appearances on conservative programs, including Fox News and Mark Levin’s radio show.
Read: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to announce he’s running for president during discussion with Elon Musk
DeSantis’ entry into the Republican field has been rumored for months and he is considered one of the party’s strongest candidates in the quest to retake the White House from Democratic President Joe Biden. The 80-year-old incumbent, Republicans say, has pushed the nation too far left while failing to address inflation, immigration and crime.
The Republican nominee will face Biden on the general election ballot in November 2024.
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