Nash Trumbly reporter
With only a little over a year until the start of elections season, potential candidates are the talk of the town. Former President Donald Trump already announced the launch of his campaign for re-election late last year, leading many republicans to believe he will be the figure to beat during next years primaries. But while the former president has failed to fully regain his support, and the republican party struggling in the midterms, one potential nominee has been quietly gaining steam: Florida’s hotshot Governor Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis, who was elected governor of the sunshine state back in 2018, and a largely unheard of figure, has been in the national spotlight due to his controversial tactics. In September of last year, he signed a budget for the state that set aside $12 million to institute a program to transport unauthorized migrants and asylum seekers out of the state, which included chartering a private plane to collect Venezuelan migrants and fly them to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, without notifying the community in any way.
The story painted headlines across the country, and led to a slew of lawsuits by democratic lawyers across the country. The attention, along with DeSantis’s outspoken distain for the handling of the US-Mexico border by the Biden administration, garnered attention from his party, leading to increased speculation for a 2024 presidential bid.
Just this month DeSantis has managed to top the headlines once again, with his battle against Florida’s college board over the release of an AP African American Studies course designed for high schoolers around the state. DeSantis signed and championed the “Stop Woke” act last year, which prohibits public schools from providing instructions that state that someone’s “status as either privileged or oppressed is necessarily determined by his or her race, color, national origin, or sex.”
Left with no other option after the governor officially blocked the course form public schools, the college board went back to the drawing board, instituting changes that strip the course of much of its controversial material.
DeSantis is not necessarily unique in this way, with many prominent republic lawmakers speaking out on these so called “culture wars” in an attempt to garner national attention. But where DeSantis succeeds over other figures is the polls. A recent poll done by the Marquette University Law School shows that 64% of republican voters prefer DeSantis, beating out former President Trump by 28 points.
With the tides of the republican nomination shifting, Trump himself has turned sour towards DeSantis, calling him “average”, and accusing him of playing games by waiting to announce his bid for president. Many believe that this infighting may fracture the party, producing a unprepared candidate and leading to the democrats holding the presidency into the next term.
No one can be sure what it in the cards for the next election season, but if there’s one thing we know, its that DeSantis is coming for his party’s kingpin, and the battle will be bloody.