Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis, whose district includes all of Flagler County, said Tuesday he is considering a bid for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Marco Rubio, who is running for president, and that a decision will be made soon. DeSantis’s quick rise after his election to the House in 2012, his frequent presence on conservative talk shows and relentless criticism of the Obama administration has made him a favorite of tea party conservatives and some further to the right.
“Marco Rubio has done a great job in the U.S. Senate,” DeSantis said in a statement. “His 2010 campaign inspired me to consider running for office, and I have no doubt that he will make a compelling candidate on the national stage. As it became clear that Senator Rubio was likely to run for President, I received encouragement to consider running for the Senate. Casey and I will use the next several weeks to discuss the race with our friends and supporters and will make a decision in short order.”
In his statement, DeSantis also echoed some of the themes the 43-year-old Rubio is expected to build on during the presidential campaign. “We need a new generation of leaders who will promote policies that will foster economic growth and alleviate the middle class squeeze, defend America’s national security against those who threaten our people, reform the culture of Washington, D.C., and reassert the constitutional principles that make our country unique,” DeSantis said. “Whatever shape my future service takes, I look forward to doing my part to help get our country back on track.”
DeSantis is one of several members of the state’s congressional district whose name has been floated in connection with the seat. Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, former House Speaker Will Weatherford and former Senate President Don Gaetz also have been mentioned. DeSantis, who lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, is in his second term representing Congressional District 6, which includes all or parts of St. Johns, Flagler, Volusia and Putnam counties.
He defeated a field of seven Republicans to win the 2012 Republican primary for the redrawn congressional district with 39 percent of the vote district-wide (Flagler had previously been represented by Rep. John Mica, who ran and won from another district). DeSantis then faced Democrat Heather Beaven in the general election, defeating her 52-48 in Flagler, and 57-43 district-wide. He was not challenged in the 2014 primary, and defeated Democrat David Cox with 63 percent of the vote in the general election. Should DeSantis decide to run, the 6th congressional district would again see a wide-open race for the seat.
The Senate Conservatives Fund’s Ken Cuccinelli issued the following statement, following DeSantis’s announcement: “With Senator Rubio leaving the Senate next year, it’s extremely important for conservatives in Florida to elect a principled leader to replace him. We’re looking at all of the candidates, but if Congressman Ron DeSantis decides to run, we will seriously consider supporting his campaign. Ron has a strong conservative record in the House, he listens to the grassroots in Florida, and has the ability to win this important race.”
DeSantis was among the nine founding members of the House Freedom Caucus in January, a group of staunch conservatives dissatisfied with Majority Leader John Boehner and the Republican Study Committee, which the caucus finds too moderate.
Merrill Shapiro says
Well, not surprising since he’s only been a “semi” public servant expending little effort to represent us and only “semi” interested in government, voting to shut the government down, “semi” interested in local seniors whose Social Security he has voted to cut, only “semi” interested in our environment, being a climate change denier, etc. etc. This guy is a joke and would never have gotten where he is without extreme gerrymandering, efforts to keep former felons (who have paid their debt to society) off the voter rolls and voter ID laws that disenfranchise the poor and the elderly.
I am very dissatisfied with Mr. DeSantis and his non-existant record. He always allows himself to be lead around by the nose along with the dogpack that makes up the tea party and the right wingers of this country. I haven’t seen anything that he’s done good for the people of the state or his district in the years I’ve lived here. Everything he does and says are what his ‘handlers’ on the tea party side tell him to say and agree with. Shutting down our government when he is part of that government, adding an additional $24 billion to our deficit, and happily forcing us taxpayers to shell out billions so already wealthy corporations/businesses/individuals can make MORE profit is an absurdity, and that is happening in every single budget bill these republicans put forth (including the Omnibus Budget Act that was passed in Dec. 2014). They steal from the poor and middle class and senior citizens to give to the rich – when it has been proven there is no such thing as trickle down economics (voodoo economics as it is known). DeSantis is happy to give, give, give (aka steal) money from us taxpayers and throw grandma, grandpa and the kids out on the street.
Diana L says
And voting AGAINST the violence against women act. NAY is how he voted. Indefensible.
Sherry E says
My thoughts exactly Merrill! Why, oh why do we continue to even consider such irresponsible candidates who are puppets of their party, and have NO intelligence, NO Ethics, NO integrity and NO intention of representing ALL of our citizens!
A true American Taliban, only interested in destroying what has been built over the last 300 years. A Tea Bagger who still believes a return to the past is the right thing to do, a real Right Winged Religious Bigot.
You don’t really think he believes any of the crap he says, do you? It’s just politics.
Wishful thinking says
Go Ron Go
You are a breath of fresh air and you love our country
I sincerely hope David Cox will give this seat another try should DeSantis decide to run for Senate. The big Koch money (hopefully) won’t be as strong, and as of now, I don’t see a star rising in District 6 on the Republican side. I find it admirable that Mr. Cox steps up in this district and desires to make changes to help all of its residents, not just the rich few. As a Republican I am truly impressed by Mr. Cox and his common-sense approach to the issues.
As I wrote on another article, David and the young woman that was working for him(and I do hope she is a part of his team again as she fits perfectly in the gap where David cannot be at every moment) are both passionate about District 6, and it is very apparent that they have a desire to serve the public, and not just obtain “power.” I sincerely hope to see them both back on the campaign trail soon, but this time, with a victory at the end of the trail!
Good to get rid of him when he loses for the Senate.