He’s here: Ron DeSantis files documents for presidential race

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis became an official 2024 presidential hopeful on Wednesday, filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission declaring his candidacy for the Republican nomination.

Mr. DeSantis filed the documents hours before his planned presidential campaign announcement Wednesday night at a Twitter live event that will be hosted by Elon Musk.

Mr. DeSantis, 44, adds his name to a growing list of Republicans vying for the party’s nomination. He enters the race as the toughest challenger yet to former President Donald Trump, 76, who leads the pack by an average of 37 percentage points in national polls.

Mr. DeSantis registers about 20% of voters nationwide, compared to about 56% support for Mr. Trump. Other GOP hopefuls, including Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, and Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, are in the single digits.

Mr. DeSantis is in his second term as governor and has raised his profile nationally by opposing COVID-19 lockdowns and mandates, and advocating pro-life and pro-gun policies. He also drew Conservative support by passing policies to block the “woke” Liberal agenda in schools and businesses.

His poll has fallen since March, however, with some attributing the drop to his decision to sign a bill banning abortion after six weeks and his high-profile fight with Disney involving the revoking of the theme park’s special tax district.

Mr. DeSantis enters the race with a war chest of $110 million and interest from dozens of GOP mega-donors seeking an alternative to Trump in 2024. Mr. Trump has about $85 million.

Mr. DeSantis will meet with donor representatives in Miami this week.


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