Florida GOP on DeSantis presidential bid: Sunshine State is “center of the political universe”

The party vice chair said he looks forward to seeing two Floridian Republican candidates in the primary races
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 10:38 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made it official Wednesday, announcing his White House bid during a conversation on Twitter Spaces with the social platform’s CEO Elon Musk.

The announcement came just hours after the governor filed with the Federal Election Commission. He also signed into law Wednesday an election bill allowing him to run for president without resigning from office.

During the audio livestream event, DeSantis said he can beat President Joe Biden in a head-to-head match-up, something former President Donald Trump didn’t do in 2020.

“There is no substitute for victory,” DeSantis said. “We must win. The culture of losing that has infected the Republican Party in recent years.”

Wednesday’s announcement puts DeSantis in a direct race against the former president. The Florida Republican Party Vice Chairman said having DeSantis officially in the running is great for the Sunshine State. Vice Chairman Evan Power said he is excited two Floridians are leading the GOP race.

“We have two great candidates from the state of Florida who will be fighting it on,” Power said in an interview. “We’re excited to make Florida the center of the political universe for a little bit of time.”

Current polls show DeSantis trailing Trump for the Republican nomination.

“It’s exciting to see someone who’s led, as the governor has led, on policy, to run and bring that policy to a nationwide level,” Power said. “We also have the former president here and the accomplishments he’s made.”

DeSantis told listeners on Twitter he is the candidate who will change the nation’s direction.

“I don’t think it has to be this way,” the governor said. “American decline is not inevitable. It is a choice.”

Our Florida Capital Bureau asked the Republican National Committee what it thinks about DeSantis entering the race. A spokeswoman said, per bylaws, the party remains neutral during the primary process.

Ahead of the announcement, national and international trips in the past several months garnered attention and generated discussion about a possible presidential run.

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