WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WPEC) — After months of speculation, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has officially thrown his name in as a candidate for President of the United States of America.
The 44-year-old governor has become a national and political figure. Among Republicans he is enormously popular for his conservative values, his criticism of President Biden, and his self proclaimed "anti-woke" agenda.
DeSantis made the announcement official on Twitter Wednesday, stating, "I'm running for president to lead our Great American Comeback," with his first presidential campaign ad attached to the tweet.
The current governor was supposed to go live with Twitter CEO Elon Musk at 6 p.m., however, the announcement was derailed after technical difficulties continued to persist during the audio-only event. The new Twitter Spaces streaming account was created by Musk and investor David Sacks.
After multiple new streams were created, DeSantis was able to vocally state he is running for president between the glitching stream.
“American decline is not inevitable, it is a choice. And we should choose a new direction, a path that will lead to American revitalization,” DeSantis said. “I am running for president of the United States to lead our great American comeback.”
Throughout the event stream, DeSantis spoke on crime, the economic state of America, and Florida's education system, while also mentioning that current President Joe Biden lacked "vigor".
“We must look forward not backward to voters participating in the primary process my pledge is this: I will take the oath of office as the 47th President of the United States," DeSantis said.
DeSantis has served as Florida's Governor since 2019 and party insiders believed his announcement was inevitable. He's made a reputation for himself as a rebel governor, appealing to Americans who got fed up with COVID restrictions and who cannot stomach any more political correctness.
DeSantis was first elected to Congress in 2012, and was reelected twice, but it was COVID that helped make DeSantis a household name.
The governor allowed Florida businesses to reopen while most of the nation was shut down. He pushed for kids to return to schools and opposed mask mandates. He also made vaccine requirements illegal in Florida.
Through the State Board of Education, targeted legislation, and vocal support from like-minded school board candidates, the governor has pushed to give parents more say about what happens in public schools.
He also signed legislation preventing public schools from teaching gender identity or sexual orientation in many grades. This led to opponents, including the Disney corporation, to speak out against the legislation, calling it anti-gay.
Now, Disney and DeSantis are in a series of suits and countersuits that may go on for years.
Since winning a second term in the governor's chair last fall, DeSantis has enacted more of what he calls his "anti-woke" agenda - fighting identity politics, defunding diversity and inclusion programs in taxpayer funded universities, restricting transgender women from competing against biological women for school sports, and blocking children from receiving medical interventions to change their biological sex before they turn 18.
The governor also took hardline stances on more traditional conservative issues, banning abortion after six weeks and signing a slate of bills cracking down on illegal immigration.
Peter Feaman, a National Republican Committeeman based in Palm Beach County, said this year's Republican primary will be fierce and may divide the party like never before because "Donald Trump is obviously no shrinking violet but guess what, Ron DeSantis is equal to the task. So it should be pretty wild to watch."
The Governor's political memoir, "The Courage to be Free," was published earlier this year and is a New York Times bestseller. DeSantis calls it a blueprint for patriots across the country.
DeSantis enters the race with north of $110 million raised by several committees that have been anticipating this announcement.