LIGHTHOUSE POINT, Fla. — On the heels of the governor potentially announcing his bid for president, top Florida officials are endorsing Ron DeSantis. The governor’s administration is also making moves that indicate all signs point to a run for the White House.
After the governor took the stage in Broward County on Tuesday, two of Florida’s top leaders, House Speaker Paul Renner and Sen. President Kathleen Passidomo, endorsed Ron DeSantis for president.
“We need a leader like Gov. DeSantis who has the courage of his convictions and will stand against the liberal economic agenda that is ruining our economy and the Hollywood social scheme that is trying to shorten childhood and replace the role of parents,” explained Passidomo. “I believe he is the right leader at the right time.”
“There are three qualities of any great leader. You have to have integrity, principles, and courage,” Renner said. “You can be a leader without one of those, but you can’t be a great leader without all of those, and DeSantis has that in abundance.”
The House Speaker went on to say that there is “no better leader than America’s greatest governor.”
But if you’re wondering if DeSantis has announced he’s running for president, he hasn’t.
“Typically, endorsements happen after the candidate announces because otherwise, you are endorsing someone who hasn’t said whether or not they are going to run,” explained Florida Atlantic University political science professor Kevin Wagner.
Wagner said presidential candidates will usually host a big announcement and then a series of events. Wagner stated after these events the candidates’ numbers in the polls will start to rise.
In DeSantis’ case, he spent the weekend in Iowa appealing to potential voters.
According to a poll by FiveThirtyEight, as of May 10, 43.1% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Florida’s governor, which Wagner believes may only increase.
“The expectation is once you announce the campaign that you become an active campaigner,” he said. “You spend a lot of time going to early primary states, talking to people, raising money, making proposals, and you try to continue to generate different activities to try and get media coverage and continue to build momentum, and that momentum is usually in the terms of are you campaigning effectively, fundraising and rising in the polls.”
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Desantis has also made other moves to suggest a bid is not far away. A moving truck was spotted outside of the state’s GOP headquarters on Monday, and the governor’s press secretary, Bryan Griffin, announced he was leaving to take on a new role “pursuing other avenues of helping to deliver the governor’s success to our country.”
While things have been fairly quiet on Donald Trump’s side, Wagner believes he will begin to ramp up his campaign, as well as other candidates, as soon as DeSantis formally announces a bid.
The former president has already been endorsed by several Florida congressional leaders. He announced his bid last November.