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Florida's DeSantis makes name as conservative culture warrior

Coronavirus Sep 16, 2022 01:06PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO - Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks after the primary election for the midterms during the "Keep Florida Free Tour" at Pepin's Hospitality Centre, in Tampa, Florida, U.S., August 24, 2022. REUTERS/Octavio Jones 2/2

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sent two planeloads of migrants to the posh vacation island of Martha's Vineyard this week, to protest the Biden administration's immigration policies.

It's the latest provocation by DeSantis, a Republican who is seeking re-election as governor in November and is considered a potential 2024 presidential candidate.

POLITICAL RISE

DeSantis, 44, was elected Florida's governor in 2018 after President Donald Trump endorsed the then-congressman over a more established Republican candidate. His national profile grew during the COVID-19 pandemic, when he resisted mask and vaccine mandates and argued for the opening of schools.

He has governed Florida with a brash and heavy hand, blasting critics, pushing his priorities through the legislature and punishing his enemies. He recently removed from office an elected Democratic prosecutor in Tampa for what DeSantis called an unwillingness to enforce abortion restrictions.

IMMIGRATION

DeSantis has taken an aggressive approach to illegal immigration despite the fact that Florida does not share a border with another country. He sued Democratic President Joe Biden's administration over its immigration policies and sought to ban so-called “sanctuary cities” – places that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities - from being established in the state.

"People are wondering, ‘Why are you doing this?,’” DeSantis said earlier this year. “People will say, ‘Let Texas or Arizona worry about that.’ Let me tell you, people trying to come in illegally are trying to get to Florida.”

CULTURE WARRIOR

DeSantis has been the party's leading figure in fighting “culture wars,” particularly with regard to education. He championed the “Don’t Say Gay” law that prohibits Florida teachers from discussing sexual orientation with young students, sparking a clash with Disney, a large employer in the state.

He has backed restrictions on what teachers can teach about U.S. history and race relations, arguing that public schools “indoctrinate” students with liberal values. He also has seized control of the state Board of Education and supported conservative school board candidates in local races.

PRESIDENTIAL AMBITIONS

As his prominence within the Republican Party has risen, so has talk about DeSantis running for president in 2024. The biggest obstacle in his path is Trump himself, who is expected to seek another term in office.

DeSantis has been cagey about whether he would challenge Trump, who is still the most popular figure in the party. Meantime, DeSantis has proved to be a prolific fundraiser, having raised $172 million for his re-election campaign from sources inside and outside of Florida – on pace to set the record for fundraising in a gubernatorial race.

He has continued to build national recognition, taking time away from the state to stump for other Republican candidates ahead of November's midterm elections.

Florida's DeSantis makes name as conservative culture warrior
 

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Comments (5)
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 20, 2022 1:21PM ET
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Centrists are not interested in electing cultural warriors.
gab nea
gab nea Sep 20, 2022 7:17AM ET
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free airplane rides inland for illegal migrants! that is so generous of texas budget expenses. which corner will the departing buses and planes , so they could line up? any snacks on the flights?
gab nea
gab nea Sep 19, 2022 9:19AM ET
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he lied to them to get on the planes, that's kidnapping and crossing state lines! federal crime?
gab nea
gab nea Sep 19, 2022 9:17AM ET
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migrants are smarter than the texas and Florida governors! the ones that want to go to New York and Boston are now targeting his efforts to get a free ride. he is actually helping them. what a *******
gab nea
gab nea Sep 16, 2022 1:18PM ET
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he is human trafficking of illegal immigrants deeper in the states,nice!
 
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