TAMPA, Fla. — Ron DeSantis won re-election in the 2022 midterm election for Florida Governor on Tuesday night, beating opponent Charlie Crist.
The headline race in the 2022 midterm election in Florida pitted Governor Ron DeSantis (R) against former Governor Charlie Crist (D) as they battled to lead the state through 2026.
At the time of publication, DeSantis beat Crist on Tuesday with a total of 4,029,543 votes over his 2,841,104 votes.
Governor DeSantis was seeking a second term in office after an eventful first term in office. While serving as Governor, the state has been going through a global pandemic, a presidential election that saw his preferred candidate defeated, and a host of issues related to both of those topics.
DeSantis came to office after serving three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2012-2016. He was also a founding member of the hard right-leaning Freedom Caucus in the House. The governor briefly ran for the United States Senate in 2015 before ending his campaign when Senator Marco Rubio, a fellow Republican, ended his presidential bid to seek re-election to the Senate.
DeSantis began his campaign to take the top elected position in the state in January 2018. He made a name for himself by running a campaign commercial where his children were shown about building a wall, referring to immigration from Mexico and then-President Donald Trump's abandoned plan to build a wall along the Mexican border.
DeSantis won the governor's race against Democrat Andrew Gillum by approximately 34,000 votes out of the millions cast in 2018. DeSantis was supportive of then-President Trump and campaigned to get the 2020 Republican National Convention moved to Florida.
After initially running on issues related to immigration, concealed carry, and other conservative issues, the governor's star began to grow as the pandemic began.
DeSantis initially used and followed medically-recommended moves like shutdowns to deal with COVID-19. However, as Republican angst grew about the medical treatments, DeSantis began pushing back against closings for businesses, schools, and other pandemic safety measures.
Still, more than 80,000 Floridians have died from COVID-19 during DeSantis' gubernatorial term.
As he became more vocal, his star began to grow in the conservative mediasphere. As the pandemic wore on, Governor DeSantis took on more culture war issues that also appealed to the Republican base, including the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill, fighting perceived "censorship" on social media, transgender rights, among others.
While serving as governor, DeSantis has enjoyed complete Republican control of the legislature and has reshaped much of the state judiciary through his nominations, as all governors have done.
One issue that has been placed on DeSantis has been the growing property insurance and affordability crisis in the state. Both have continued to get worse in the last few years with the GOP in total control of the state government.
DeSantis has also been getting near-constant speculation about a possible run for the White House in 2024. He remains immensely popular with the Republican base in Florida and in the conservative media around the country.
DeSantis has not pushed back on the speculation and refused to commit to serving out his full term when asked in a recent debate with his opponent, Democrat Charlie Crist.