Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was inaugurated for his second term. It comes as the conservative continues to rise as the leading potential alternative to former President Donald Trump in the 2024 Republican presidential primary.
DeSantis spoke for roughly 15 minutes after being sworn in. In his speech, he made no direct mention of a potential presidential bid.
But what DeSantis did do was position his conservative administration as the defensive wall against Democratic leadership at the state and federal levels. He talked up his administration’s agenda from his first term as governor. He promoted how he handled the Covid pandemic and bragged about his education reforms in the states. And made sure to criticize Democratic actions on all of these fronts.
He said Florida was where the “woke goes to die.”
“Now it’s often said that our federalist constitutional system with 50 states able to pursue their own unique policies represents a laboratory of democracy,” DeSantis said. “Well, these last few years have witnessed a great test of governing philosophies, as many jurisdictions pursued a much different path than we have pursued here in the state of Florida.”
DeSantis is the leading rival for Trump for the Red run toward the White House.
So far, only Trump is officially in the running for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential elections, having announced his nomination potentially pre-maturely, immediately after the midterm elections in November.
But early surveys show DeSantis as Trump’s leading rival, with some surveys even showing the Florida governor with an edge.
Once a Trump loyalist, and vice-versa, there is now a love loss between the former president and the Florida governor.
Trump has bristled at the governor’s rise, deriding DeSantis publicly and promoting polls that show the former president in the lead. DeSantis has not publicly countered Trump, nor has he made any public acknowledgment of interest in a presidential bid.