Amid speculation of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis making a presidential run for 2024, the Governor is currently en route to the next stop in his war on ‘woke’ tour in Iowa. The governor is expected to share the ‘Florida blueprint,’ promote his new book, and discuss his vision for a free America with those in attendance. DeSantis recently gave a speech on his support for law enforcement in Staten Island last week and will be present in South Carolina for another speech in the near future. While DeSantis has yet to declare his run for presidency yet, many are speculating that this national tour he is currently embarking on is a way of gauging and building public support for the governor. If he were to run, many have projected a tightly contested primary race between himself and former President Donald Trump.
By Paul Steinhauser & Brooke Singman; March 2, 2023
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida will soon visit Iowa, the state that holds the first contest in the 2024 Republican presidential nominating calendar.
DeSantis’ trip will be his first visit to Iowa and his first this cycle to any of the early voting states in the GOP primary and caucus schedule. DeSantis is widely expected by political pundits to launch a Republican White House run later this year, though he remains on the 2024 sidelines.
DeSantis will make stops in Des Moines and Davenport Friday, March 10, where he’ll be joined by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Fox News confirmed Thursday.
Iowa’s governor will host what are being described as interview-style conversations with DeSantis at both events. News of the Florida governor’s visit to Iowa was first reported by The Des Moines Register.
The governor, a former congressman, saw his popularity soar among conservatives across the country the past three years due to his forceful pushback against coronavirus pandemic restrictions and his aggressive actions as a conservative culture warrior going after media and corporations.
DeSantis has routinely dismissed talk of a 2024 White House run, but he’s dropped plenty of hints of a possible presidential bid since his 19-point gubernatorial re-election victory last November. Sources in DeSantis’ wider orbit say any presidential campaign launch would come in the late spring or early summer, after the end of Florida’s current legislative session.
Most public opinion polls in the burgeoning GOP nomination race, including one released Sunday from Fox News, indicate DeSantis in a top tier, trailing only former President Trump, with everyone else in single digits.
The visit to Iowa comes as DeSantis has been making stops across the country, highlighting his “Florida blueprint” and promoting his new book, “The Courage to be Free,” which was released Tuesday. The governor’s book tour takes him to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, Sunday.
Asked about his 2024 timeline last week on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” DeSantis said, “We’re going to sell some books, we’re going to spread the message of Florida. And then, on March 8, I have our legislative session that’s kicking off.”
“This is going to be the most productive legislative session we have had across the board, and I think people are going to be really excited,” DeSantis emphasized. “So those are what we’re going to be doing over these next few months. As we get beyond that, then we can decide from there.”
Behind the scenes, Fox News has confirmed that DeSantis’ political team has been speaking with Republican operatives in the early voting states. And last weekend. DeSantis huddled with top contributors and a handful of leading conservative politicians from across the country at a donor retreat in Palm Beach, Florida. On Thursday, DeSantis will speak with another group of leading Republican donors at a retreat hosted by the Club for Growth, an influential fiscally conservative group.
DeSantis will be in Iowa at the same time as Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and former ambassador who launched a GOP presidential campaign last month.
GOP sources tell Fox News that trips by DeSantis to New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, which hold the second, third and fourth contests in the Republican presidential nominating calendar, are likely later this winter and early spring.
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