Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is reportedly set to launch a presidential exploratory committee in mid-May, Republican operatives told NBC News.
DeSantis’ official presidential announcement will reportedly come soon after the exploratory committee, NBC reported Wednesday, citing the operatives. His official Super PAC, Never Back Down, is already sending campaign mailers and releasing advertisements on DeSantis’ behalf. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Ron DeSantis Quietly Staffs Up For His Presidential Campaign)
DeSantis exploratory committee
Coming in mid May, with official launch soon to follow
— Matt Dixon (@Mdixon55) April 26, 2023
Some individuals around DeSantis are reportedly pushing him to declare his candidacy as early as May 11 in order to stall former President Donald Trump’s momentum in the Republican primary contest. Others close to him argue the date is too soon, according to two of NBC’s sources. All, however, reportedly agreed that mid-May is the target for DeSantis’ potential presidential announcement, NBC continued. DeSantis’ team reportedly did not comment in response to NBC’s inquiry.
Multiple high-profile members of Florida’s congressional delegation have recently endorsed Trump as polls show a widening gap between Trump and DeSantis in the wake of Trump’s indictment for charges related to an alleged hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels.
Trump’s campaign is going after DeSantis in advertisements for voting to cut Social Security and Medicare when he served in Congress. The former president’s team is also prepared to portray DeSantis as a war hawk with close ties to the Republican establishment.
DeSantis is working with Florida’s legislature to pass key priorities during the state’s ongoing legislative session. DeSantis’ recent legislative accomplishments include a six-week abortion ban and permitless concealed carry legislation.
He passed legislation in February reducing Disney’s special benefits because of the company’s opposition to his parental rights in education legislation. The feud between DeSantis and Disney continues to escalate through Disney’s efforts to legally undermine DeSantis’ legislation and due to its lawsuit against the governor for allegedly targeting the company.