Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made his White House bid official Wednesday, announcing a 2024 presidential run in an online discussion with Elon Musk that ended months of speculation and set up a clash with former President Donald Trump.
The DeSantis campaign confirmed Thursday night that it had raised $8.2 million in the 24 hours since entering the race.
On Thursday, the Republican governor announced plans for a three-state blitz with at least a dozen stops next week.
DeSantis is scheduled to campaign Tuesday and Wednesday in Iowa before a trip to New Hampshire on Thursday and South Carolina on Friday.
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As he entered a growing Republican primary field, DeSantis, 44, pledged to be an “energetic executive” who “will get the job done” as president to rein in government agencies that “are totally out of control.”
“These past few years have given me a new appreciation for the fragility of our freedoms,” DeSantis said during an appearance on Twitter Spaces with Musk, the billionaire owner of the social-media site.
“We are laser-focused on taking Gov. DeSantis’ forward-thinking message for restoring America to every potential voter in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina,” campaign manager Generra Peck said. “Our campaign is committed to putting in the time to win these early nominating states. No one will work harder than Gov. DeSantis to share his vision with the country — he has only begun to fight.”
DeSantis’ team opens the campaign with tens of millions of dollars in the bank, including the $8.2 million raised since Wednesday’s announcement, part of which came from donations secured by bundlers gathered Thursday in Miami.
In the 24 hours after he launched his campaign, Biden said he raised $6.3 million. The New York Times was the first to report DeSantis’ stunning haul.
An adviser to DeSantis-aligned super PAC said the group began with $33 million in the bank and 30 full-time paid staff already in place across the first four states on the presidential primary calendar, with many more hires already planned for the subsequent 14 states to hold primary contests.
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DeSantis projected confidence in a matchup against Trump, claiming in a Newsmax interview, “There’s a limit to the number of voters that would consider the former president at this point.”
“Now we’re going to be launching a blitz. We’re going to be in these early states. We’re really going to be all over the country bringing this message to our voters,” DeSantis said. “They also understand that you need someone (to) serve two terms. You need somebody that’s going to be able to win and win big.”
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