The Phoenix Flyer

DeSantis says he’s running for reelection; cagey about presidential aspirations

By: - October 1, 2021 3:14 pm

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody appear during a news conference in Fort Myers on Sept. 28, 2021. Source: Screenshot/governor’s Facebook page

In case there was any doubt in your mind, Gov. Ron DeSantis is running for reelection next year.

He said so during an interview Thursday night with Sean Hannity on Fox News while not directly replying to a question about any presidential aspirations.

“I notice the media, no matter how many times you’ve answered the question about are you considering a run for the presidency in 2024 and you give the same answer, that they sill keep asking you. What’s your answer to those people that ask again and again?” Hannity put it to the governor.

“I’m not considering anything beyond doing my job,” DeSantis replied.

“We’ve got a lot of stuff going on in Florida. I’m going to be running for reelection next year, and we’re also working on a lot of things in the state beyond just the governor’s race. We’ve got school board races, Sean. I want to make sure people are not supporting critical race theory, making sure that, you know, parents have the ability to send their kid to school the way they want to.

“There’s a lot of huge issues. That [a presidential run] is way down the road. It’s not anything that I’m planning for.”

That hasn’t stopped the governor from actively soliciting financial contributions and raising his national profile. On Tuesday, for example, just days before his demurer, DeSantis attended a $5,000 per plate fundraiser in Buffalo, N.Y., The Buffalo News reported. A local TV station reported that some tickets went for as much as $25,000.

On Wednesday, according to DeSantis’ official schedule, he was at the swank Pierre Hotel in New York for the Annual Impact Marketing Seminar, rubbing elbows with beverage industry executives. The agenda doesn’t list the governor as a scheduled speaker.

Other than that, the schedule reflects a fairly light week for state business for a governor who until recently has barnstormed the state promoting monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19. Earlier on Tuesday, he addressed the International Boat Builders’ Exhibition and Conference in Tampa and with Attorney General Ashley Moody in Fort Myers announced a lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s border policies.

The schedule reflects telephone calls with chief of staff Adrian Lukis on three days of the workweek.

Press Secretary Christina Pushaw said she couldn’t comment on the governor’s political activities and referred the Phoenix to the Republican Party of Florida for details in that regard. Party Executive Director Helen Aguirre Ferré has yet to get back to us.

The reelect isn’t official yet — Florida Division of Election records indicate DeSantis has yet to formally open a campaign.

However, DeSantis’ PAC — Friends of Ron DeSantis — has been collecting money like gangbusters, including more than $5.5 million in August, and has more than $53 million in the bank.

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal.