Republican Ron DeSantis enters the US presidential race

The governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, presented this Wednesday his candidacy for the Republican inauguration ahead of the 2024 United States presidential elections.

DeSantis, 44, formalized the candidacy in a document delivered to the federal election commission hours before the media launch of his campaign through a chat with Elon Musk, which will be broadcast on Twitter.

The conversation between DeSantis and Musk is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. in Washington (22:00 GMT) and will be moderated by Republican businessman David Sacks.

The 44-year-old governor’s candidacy raises hope for Republicans seeking an alternative to former President Donald Trump, whose ideas he shares but not the excesses.

“This is the first time we’re going to experience something like this on a social network,” Musk said of DeSantis’ chosen format.

The tech mogul promised “real-time, unprepared questions and answers,” but dismissed the conversation as a show of support for the Florida governor.

DeSantis is emerging as the 76-year-old Trump’s biggest rival for the Republican inauguration. The winner of those primaries will face the candidate chosen by the Democratic Party in November 2024, most likely President Joe Biden.

a conservative figure

In 2018, DeSantis, an almost unknown congressman, won the gubernatorial election in surprising fashion after receiving decisive support from Trump from the White House.

Since then he has become a rising star on the right in the United States with very conservative policies on issues such as education, abortion or immigration.

Initiatives that have given him wide media coverage and a triumphant re-election in November 2022. But the battle for the Republican inauguration will reveal whether his new status in the party is enough to prevail over Trump.

Numerous polls give the former president a wide advantage over the governor, although those results must be taken with caution since the primaries are still months away.

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The main difference between the two candidates resides, above all, in their attitudes.

For many, DeSantis, the son of a working-class family, a war veteran and a graduate of Harvard and Yale, is severely lacking in charisma in the face of the exuberant real estate mogul.

“Announcing his candidacy on Twitter is perfect for DeSantis. That way he doesn’t have to interact with anyone,” ironized one of Trump’s advisers in a conversation with AFP.

“Personality Graft”

Hostilities between them began long before DeSantis entered the ring.

Trump has spent weeks multiplying criticism of his rival on his social networks and at his rallies, while DeSantis has counterattacked in his own, more subtle way, recalling what hurts the former president the most: his defeat in the last presidential elections against Democrat Joe Biden .

“DeSantis is in desperate need of a personality graft,” Trump taunted Wednesday morning.

A fierce fight awaits the governor of Florida against the New York billionaire, a man immune to scandals, whose legal troubles seem to further mobilize his many followers.

In his campaign, DeSantis will be able to count on generous donations — $110 million to date — with which he hopes to close the gap and flood the country with ads.

In a recent video from the governor’s political action committee, a man puts a “DeSantis for president” sticker on the body of a car, above one that reads “Trump 2016.”

The ad summarizes the message that the governor wants to convey to voters: in front of the 76-year-old magnate, DeSantis wants to embody the new guard of the Republican Party.

The other declared candidates in the Republican race — Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Asa Hutchinson — rarely exceed 5% of voting intentions in the polls, so everything points to a duel between the governor of Florida and the man who promoted it.

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