Following former President Donald Trump officially launching his 2024 presidential campaign, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday didn’t acknowledge Trump’s big announcement last night.
And former President Trump didn’t mention DeSantis’ name during his speech at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday evening.
Asked by a reporter Wednesday “about a civil war brewing between” the two high-profile men in Florida, DeSantis deflected the question about 2024 presidential bids.
Instead, DeSantis said he’s focused on the upcoming Georgia runoff election on Dec. 6 between Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.
“We just finished this election, okay,” DeSantis told the crowd in Lee County. “People just need to chill out a little bit on some of this stuff, I mean seriously. We just ran an election. We have this Georgia runoff coming which is very important for Republicans to win that Georgia runoff.”
DeSantis added: “I know around the country, Florida was kind of the biggest bright spot, it was not so bright in many other parts of the country. It was a substandard performance given the dynamics that are at play. So hopefully we will be able to do that. But I think what people like me, who have been given the opportunity to continue, is okay, uh, let’s do something with that.”
Although many Republicans were elected to the Florida Legislature and other positions in Congress, Democrats won enough elections to hold control of the U.S. Senate. The Republicans in Congress are expected to take control of the U.S. House soon, in a slim margin.
Meanwhile, new Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo of Collier County touted DeSantis’ response to the aftermath of Hurricane Ian during Wednesday’s press event.
The press conference was originally about awarding funds for Hurricane Ian recovery efforts in Southwest Florida. In addition, state officials also announced about $7.7 million for workforce education programs at state colleges.
“Thank you all particularly, all of you who have done so much for Southwest Florida this last month and a half,” said Passidomo, a Republican. “You all are on the frontlines; you all are the people that are gonna help us rebuild.”
“I live in Southwest Florida, and for our governor to be here so often, and to really care about how you all are coming back, is just a wonderful thing and I wanna thank you governor for doing that for us. And you said to me that you are going to keep on coming,” she added.
–Isaac Morgan, Florida Phoenix