Donald Trump’s rival Ron DeSantis ‘will enter the presidential race next week’ | US News
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, long thought to be ex-President Donald Trump’s biggest potential rival for the Republican nomination, will reportedly enter the 2024 race next week.
DeSantis, 44, is expected to file the paperwork to declare his presidential candidacy on May 25, the same day a donors’ meeting will be held in Miami, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
The Republican governor will then conduct a more formal campaign launch the week of May 29, possibly after the Memorial Day holiday, one of the sources said. The location is not known.
DeSantis’ announcement would be the first major challenge for 76-year-old Trump, who has a comfortable lead in the Republican nomination in recent polls.
An invitation to the May 25 meeting said donors will be asked to help, meaning there could be potential fundraising for DeSantis, a source with information on the event said. DeSantis representatives declined to comment on the matter.
Trump has frequently attacked DeSantis while considering making a 2024 bid. On Wednesday, Trump posted multiple messages on his Truth Social platform detailing backlash for DeSantis, including his failed endorsements. Trump nicknamed him DeSanctus.
As of early Thursday afternoon, Trump had not commented on the report DeSantis is scheduled to release next week.
Some top Republican donors have urged DeSantis to get in the race to face Trump as early as possible. But DeSantis didn’t want to do anything, waiting for the Florida Legislature to close its spring session in early May.
Recent legislative victories by DeSantis include banning most abortions in the state, allowing people to carry concealed weapons without a permit, and scrapping diversity programs at public universities.
One of DeSantis’ more controversial involvements is his ongoing battle with Disney, which opposed the parental rights in education bill he enacted last year. It bans lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades and is titled Don’t Say Gay. Late last month, Walt Disney Co. sued DeSantis for taking over its Orlando theme park district.
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