Ron DeSantis appears to take major step toward announcing 2024 presidential run
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took a major step toward announcing a potential 2024 presidential run Tuesday, cutting off his relationship to a major state-level political committee with tens of millions in its coffers.
The move, first reported by Politico, is a necessary step toward announcing a 2024 presidential campaign. The committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, now states on its website that it is affiliated with state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, rather than DeSantis himself.
“Friends of Ron DeSantis is a statewide political committee that is committed to advancing the Freedom Agenda and keeping Florida free,” the committee’s website states.
A spokesman for DeSantis’ office did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital. Ingoglia responded confirming his position as chairman of the committee, however.
“It is an honor to serve as chairman of this political committee– we will continue to be a pro-parent, pro-student organization committed to protecting parental rights and advancing the Freedom Agenda,” Ingoglia said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “This political committee will put children first, bolster and protect parental rights in education, and it will focus on electing the right candidates fighting to safeguard our kids from woke and divisive material in our classrooms. I look forward to helping get these candidates across the finish line,” he added.
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Friends of Ron DeSantis currently has $86 million in the bank, Fox News has confirmed. Its new affiliate, Ingoglia, is a close ally of the governor who backed key parts of his agenda.
DeSantis stated on Friday that he would decide “relatively soon” whether to launch a presidential campaign.
The popular Florida governor is widely considered the most credible rival to former President Donald Trump, though Trump consistently beats him in primary polling.
DeSantis, who won an overwhelming 19-point gubernatorial re-election victory last fall, said at a news conference that he “felt very confident going into November ’22 we were gonna do very well, but you really had to put up or shut up on that.”
“What happens in the future? We’ll get on that relatively soon. You either gotta put or shut up on that as well. So we’ll see,” he added.
Florida lawmakers already moved in late April to clear the way for a potential DeSantis announcement, adjusting state law to allow him to announce a presidential campaign without first resigning as governor.
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If he announces, DeSantis will join a field that includes Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
Fox News’s Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.