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What you need to know about Ron DeSantis and his political beliefs

todayMay 26, 2023 10

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis officially launched his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday after months of testing the waters with his war on “woke” politics and fierce battle with Disney over LGBTQ issues.

DeSantis, 44, is an acolyte of former president Donald Trump and offers a more traditional right-wing approach to politics.

However, DeSantis came into the race trailing his former mentor by an average of 33 points in the polls, according to aggregator FiveThirtyEight.

The Florida governor is still seen as Trump’s most credible challenger as the 76-year-old former reality star faces a wide array of serious criminal investigations and charges.

DeSantis’ humble beginnings started on the baseball diamond where he represented Dunedin, outside of Tampa, in the 1991 Little League World Series.

The outfielder eventually became a captain of Yale University’s baseball team and briefly taught history at a Georgia boarding school before attending Harvard Law School.

DeSantis enrolled in the Navy in 2004 and served in Iraq and at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention camp as a Judge Advocate General officer.

Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis announced he is running for president in 2024.

He successfully ran for Congress to represent Florida’s 6th District and was a founding member of the Freedom Caucus, the far-right bloc that fostered the loyal base of Trump’s chaotic outsider brand of populist nationalism.

During his three terms on Capitol Hill, DeSantis pushed for drastic cuts to popular social programs such as Medicare and Social Security and voted repeatedly to raise the retirement age to 70.

In 2018, with Trump’s endorsement, he dramatically came from behind to win a long-shot bid for the Tallahassee governor’s mansion, before resoundingly winning reelection in November.

Ron DeSantis, Casey DeSantis
Republican Ron DeSantis and his wife Casey leave the stage after a debate with Democrat Andrew Gillum at Broward College on Oct. 24, 2018.
Getty Images

During his tenure, DeSantis dove into culture war politics and enacted some of the nation’s staunchest anti-politically correct positions.

His controversial expanded Parental Rights in Education bill bans classroom discussion of LGBTQ issues in one of the nation’s largest public school systems and has been dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law by critics.

The married father of three also banned state and federal funding for diversity, equity and inclusion programs at Florida public higher education institutions.

DeSantis recently signed a law that effectively banned abortion in the state and removed a prosecutor who said he would not prosecute abortion-seeking women and their doctors, in addition to providers of gender transition treatments, which DeSantis made illegal for minors and harder to obtain for adults.

Ron DeSantis playing for Yale's baseball team
Ron DeSantis playing for Yale’s baseball team.
Courtesy of Ron DeSantis/ Yale Athletics

He signed into a law a policy that would let Florida residents carry concealed guns without a permit and supported measures that would weaken First Amendment protections for news organizations.

Even though he does not govern a border state, DeSantis waded into the politicized migrant crisis and chartered planes at the expense of taxpayers to fly asylum seekers from Texas to the small liberal island community of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Even Walt Disney World, the state’s biggest employer, was not spared in his self-described war on “woke.”

He took over the amusement park’s self-governing district and appointed supervisors to oversee its municipal services after it opposed his polarizing education bill, and also threatened to build a prison next to the complex.

Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis
Trump and DeSantis in more harmonious times.
Getty Images

DeSantis’ run for president is emboldened by his landslide victory in the 2022 election, where he trounced his Democratic opponent Charlie Crist by 19 points in the former swing state, which voted to elect Democrat Barack Obama for president as recently as 2012.

Allies claim he is more electable than the more charismatic but volatile Trump, who began attacking DeSantis politically when he took aim at the national stage.

The candidate has struggled to retain senior staffers and had taken great pains to avoid unscripted public appearances and media scrutiny while serving in Tallahassee — which is nearly impossible under the microscope of the national press.

With Post wires

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Written by: TNT Radio

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