by Mary Lou Masters
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has privately disclosed his intentions to run for president in 2024, two sources close to the governor told The Washington Post.
DeSantis’ private comments suggest that he is no longer in the deciding phase, and is likely to make an announcement once Florida’s legislative session concludes in May, according to The Post. The Thursday launch of Never Back Down, a political action committee designed to boost DeSantis as the GOP nominee, serves as another indicator of a possible campaign, as it intends to “carry him to the White House.”
“The governor’s taking actions to prepare for a run, and is heavily leaning in that direction now,” a source close to the governor told the Daily Caller News Foundation when asked to confirm the comments reported by The Post.
Ken Cuccinelli, who served as the Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security under the Trump administration, started the Never Back Down PAC to encourage DeSantis’ running for the Republican nomination in 2024.
Today I’m launching Never Back Down PAC @Nvrbackdown24 to encourage @GovRonDeSantis to run for President in 2024 🇺🇸
The energy is real. Grassroots conservatives see that Governor DeSantis is a proven leader who can win in 2024. #NeverBackDownhttps://t.co/1VKNweKgq5 pic.twitter.com/OaKq1XJrKr
— Ken Cuccinelli (@KenCuccinelli) March 9, 2023
“The energy is there, grassroots conservatives see the Governor as a leader and a fighter with a winning conservative track record who will lead the Republican Party to victory in 2024. Based on those conversations, I am most confident that we will build an unmatched grassroots political army for Governor DeSantis to help carry him to the White House,” Cuccinelli said in a statement.
The PAC is expected to be an outside funding resource for a likely DeSantis campaign, and serves as yet another indicator of the governor’s presidential aspirations, The Post reported. The organization of the PAC currently details that any funds they raise can be transferred to DeSantis’ campaign when and if he runs.
Since DeSantis ended up with over $70 million in funds after his reelection, his advisors are seeking ways to put it towards his expected presidential campaign, according to The Post.
The governor’s private comments combined with the launch of the PAC indicates the progress DeSantis’ team has made in forming a presidential campaign, despite the lack of an announcement, according to The Post.
DeSantis launched his new book, “The Courage To Be Free,” on Feb. 28, and has been traveling the country to tout its success. In the coming days, the governor will visit key early primary states back-to-back – Iowa on Friday and Nevada on Saturday.
While the governor has yet to announce, he continues to poll at the top with the former president. DeSantis polled 25 percentage points ahead of Trump in a Florida state poll, but trails the former president nationally.
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Mary Lou Masters is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Ron DeSantis.