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Gov. Ron DeSantis could file for presidential bid in coming days

'Republicans are starting to know, if they want to win in November 2024, it means supporting Ron DeSantis,' Erin Perrine says
Posted at 7:07 PM, May 18, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida's governor could be filing paperwork to run for president as soon as next week.

The political operation for Gov. Ron DeSantis isn't commenting on the record — but we do know the governor's top supporters are getting a "pre-briefing" next week in Miami. The goal is to lay the groundwork for the operation's next steps, according to those familiar with the thinking.

If supporters want to start fundraising, Federal Election Commission paperwork needs to come first, meaning documents might be in before Wednesday or Thursday.

DeSantis is already on the clock to file after moving his political operations to a new location in Tallahassee. Spending more than $5,000 to do so means he'll need to report intentions before the end of the month.

While the nation waits and wonders, the governor continues making stops in vital primary states.

He was in Iowa last weekend and will be in New Hampshire this weekend "to meet with a large group of [state] legislators to discuss the freedom blueprint and how it can be replicated in states like New Hampshire," one official told us.

It comes after DeSantis recently penned a book entitled "The Courage to Be Free: Florida's Blueprint for America's Revival."

A strong showing in each state is essential if the governor hopes to win the GOP presidential nomination. DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down has already invested heavily in places like Iowa.

"We knocked on 1,000 doors last Saturday here in Iowa," Erin Perrine, Never Back Down's communication director, said. "DeSantis beats Biden. Biden beats Trump. Republicans are starting to know, if they want to win in November 2024, it means supporting Ron DeSantis."

Former President Donald Trump and his officials have started focusing on the governor, with critical comments online and in emails. Recently, they've relished the loss of two DeSantis-backed candidates in races in Kentucky and Jacksonville. Trump said in a statement posted to Truth Social "Ron's magic is GONE!"

The Trump campaign also regularly noted the governor's deficit in early polling. Real Clear Politics estimates Trump's lead is now more than 30 points on average.

Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, is among the growing list of state lawmakers backing DeSantis. He dismisses Trump's lead, saying it's too soon to tout.

"The ultimate poll obviously is when people cast their ballots on Election Day," Ingoglia said. "So up until then, until we have all the candidates announced— because not all candidates are announced— a lot of these polls should be taken with the grain of salt."

If and when the governor submits those FEC documents, he'd likely still do a formal public announcement to pep up supporters and generate publicity. At this point, details on when and where remain uncertain.