WellFlorida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis won re-election in a landslide Tuesday night, according to the Associated Press, positioning him for potential national ambitions or a future run for the presidency.
DeSantis faced a Democrat Charlie Cristwho himself was the Republican governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011 (He became a Democrat in 2012)
A rising star in the Republican Party, DeSantis defined his first term as governor with resistance to pandemic-era restrictions and brash right-wing positions on America’s culture wars. Its funding significantly outpaced Crist’s, and he focused his campaign on criticizing Democrats for what he described as a “woke agenda.” Widely considered a future Republican presidential candidate, the conservative has made headlines this year for his stances on LGBTQ issues, his stance on immigration policy and investigations into alleged voter fraud. He repeatedly incurred liberal ire and absorbed media cycle after media cycle, leaving Crist and his moderate approach largely ignored.
Signs for Gov. Ron DeSantis are seen near a polling place at the John F. Kennedy Library in Hialeah, Florida, November 8, 2022.
Andres Kudacki for TIME
Although he was re-elected for four more years in office, it remains unclear whether he will serve all of them — in a recent debate, DeSantis, 44, did not respond when Crist pressed him to commit to a full four-year term rather than run for president in 2024. Former President Donald Trump, a registered voter in Florida who is also considering a presidential run, told reporters in Tuesday that he voted to re-elect DeSantis even though he had mocked the governor at a rally just days before, potentially upping the primary dynamic for the next cycle.
In September, DeSantis found himself back in the national spotlight for spending taxpayer dollars to move around 50 migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard— a move that came as a shock to the Martha’s Vineyard community, which initially did not know who had sent them. DeSantis continued to defend the stunt, describing it as advertising that undocumented immigrants are not welcome in Florida.
“I have enough refugees coming from blue states fleeing this bad policy,” DeSantis joked at an event this weekend, according to news site Florida Politics.
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