TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — After months of speculation about his political career, it appears Gov. Ron DeSantis will seek re-election next fall.
The Florida Department of State’s Candidate Listing for the 2022 General Election shows DeSantis filed paperwork on Friday to seek re-election.
The Republican has yet to make an official announcement, but was asked about his plans for a second bid at a news conference in Zephyrhills Monday.
“We were going to put out something out a little bit later, so just stay tuned,” DeSantis said. “It’s [the paperwork is] more of a formality to open up a campaign committee. We’re not going to be doing really anything in terms of public announcements until after the legislative session, but you know, you’ve got to prepare for these things, so we’re often doing that.”
A bid for re-election would cap a first term dominated by the coronavirus pandemic. The governor has made national headlines battling coronavirus restrictions, including masks and vaccine mandates. He is one of several state officials who plan to sue the Biden administration over its vaccine mandate for larger companies. Last month, he called a special legislative session to block federal vaccine requirements.
Rep. Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried are among the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge DeSantis next year. An October poll conducted by the firm VCreek/AMG for Americas PAC, showed DeSantis leading his opponents. The poll said 47% of respondents would back the governor if he faces Crist, while 48% would support him in a matchup against Fried. Crist had 39% of those polled and Fried had 36%. The rest was undecided.
Although DeSantis has been floated as a potential presidential candidate in 2024, he has dispelled rumors about a potential presidential run, calling them “nonsense.”
A poll from McLaughlin surveyed around 460 likely voters and found 24% would support DeSantis. Former President Donald Trump had 18% of the vote, and former Vice President Mike Pence was the choice of 14% of those surveyed.