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Are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political aspirations greater than Tallahassee? Maybe

Former President Donald Trump said he’d consider running with the Florida governor in a 2024 presidential campaign

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Former President Donald Trump greets Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in West Palm Beach, Florida.

In this Sept. 8, 2020, file photo former President Donald Trump greets Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as he arrives at West Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Associated Press

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is kicking off a reelection fundraising tour this week that will take him far from the beaches and country clubs of Florida, raising speculation that the first-term Republican’s political aspirations are much larger than gubernatorial.

The Florida governor is scheduled to make around a half-dozen appearances in California and Nevada, including high-dollar events in Las Vegas and San Diego, Politico reported.

  • “The appearance is part of an aggressive summertime out-of-state fundraising swing, with DeSantis capitalizing on his rising profile to stuff his reelection coffers and cultivate a national donor network that could power a prospective 2024 presidential bid,” according to Politico.
  • “DeSantis’ cross-country fundraising swing draws parallels to former President George W. Bush, who courted donors outside his home state (Texas) in the run-up to his 1998 reelection race. Bush received financial support for his gubernatorial campaign and, crucially, developed the national finance network that became a foundation of his presidential bid two years later,” Politico reported.
  • For the San Diego event on Thursday, “attendees are being asked to pony up as much as $100,000,” according to Politico.

Trump says he’d consider running with DeSantis

On Monday, in a phone appearance with Stuart Varney of Fox Business, Trump said that if he ran for the White House again in 2024, he would consider running with DeSantis — the Florida governor replacing former vice president Mike Pence on the bottom of the ticket.

  • “I would certainly consider Ron,” the 74-year-old former president told Varney. “I was the first one to endorse him when he came out as a congressman that a lot of people didn’t know, and my endorsement helped him tremendously.”
  • “We have other great people,” Trump said of the GOP’s bench of vice presidential candidates.

A recent poll of Republicans in New Hampshire — known as an early battleground state for presidential campaigns because it hosts an early presidential primary and voting opens just after midnight on Election Day — found that DeSantis was favored to lead the GOP ticket if former President Donald Trump wasn’t on the ballot, reported Florida Politics.

  • Former Vice President Pence spoke at an event in New Hampshire last week, signaling that his own presidential aspirations may not be over, Deseret News reported.
  • The polling firm Victory Insights also found that without Trump on the ticket, the Republicans voting in the Iowa Caucus — another early primary — prefer DeSantis, according to Florida Politics.