Ron DeSantis

Dropped out

  • Birth date: Sept. 14, 1978 (age 45)
  • Birthplace: Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Party: Republican
  • Spouse: Casey DeSantis
  • Education: Yale University (B.A.), Harvard University (J.D.), Naval Justice School
  • Current offices: Florida governor; lieutenant judge advocate general in Navy Reserve
  • Former offices: Congressman from Florida; Navy JAG Corps

The governor of Florida is considered the strongest alternative to Donald Trump among Republican presidential contenders, based on his poll numbers (even though they were declining before he entered the presidential race). He was one of the GOP’s bright electoral spots in 2022, winning his gubernatorial reelection race by nearly 20 percentage points and implementing a staunchly conservative agenda in the months before his presidential launch. But that agenda — including a high-profile fight with Disney that’s led to a lawsuit, and a six-week abortion ban — is drawing criticism from some worried he is lurching too far rightward for a general election. Although DeSantis has a penchant for fighting culture wars popular with the GOP base, a group of Florida House members has endorsed Trump because they say the governor hasn’t cultivated their support and isn’t a natural at retail politics. He ended his campaign on Jan. 21.

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