Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is giving his closest allies greater control over the daily operations of his presidential run, another shakeup in the Florida governor’s 2024 bid just weeks before the first Republican nominating contest.
DeSantis is the first Florida conservative to run for president since Jeb Bush’s short-lived effort in 2016, and the Sunshine State’s residents are eager to give their opinions.
Tallahassee resident Ruth Akers says she is a conservative Republican but she does not like the issues that DeSantis is embracing, such as book bans and gender identity.
“There have been a few things I’ve been less embittered of such as the laws he’s been passing,” Akers said.
DeSantis made his case to be the next Republican leader, proclaiming the numerous elections conservatives have won and the policies he has enacted. Due to the book bans, women’s rights issues, and DeSantis’ impact on higher education, Ryan Ray, the Leon County Democratic Party chairman, believes DeSantis won’t be a good leader.
“When it comes to Ron DeSantis’ failed agenda one of the things that stands up is the awful lack of progress we have seen with education. Black history, standards which oppose our students. He takes away our history and whitewashes it,” Ray said.
According to Pen America, an advocate for literacy, a total of 565 books have been banned in Florida schools during the past two years, including “The Hill We Climb” and “The Family Book.” Some were banned permanently, others temporarily pending investigations.
In his war against “woke,” DeSantis has put Florida’s universities and colleges at the forefront of his unyielding approach to governing. His influence in Tallahassee and his direct authority over appointments at state institutions has enabled him to reshape the system at breakneck speed.
The six-week abortion ban — which is being challenged in the courts — gives DeSantis a key political victory among Republican primary voters as he tries to win the Republican Party’s nomination for president.
Evan Power, the Leon County Republican Party chairman, says many people view the abortion ban in a negative light.
“We provide more money and benefits that can help people who have children. I think it’s important to see both sides,” Power said.
Ray retorted: “Abortion rights are something that Democrats and Americans support and Ron DeSantis does not support that.”
Voters in Ohio, Virginia, and elsewhere have embraced abortion rights in last month’s state elections as Democrats look to use that issue to drive turnout and shape next year’s presidential and congressional races.