Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, beat Charlie Crist, a former Republican governor of the Sunshine State who switched to the other party, by an enormous amount on Tuesday.
The popular governor, who won by almost 20 points, gave a victory speech Tuesday night with his wife Casey DeSantis by his side. He talked about his plans for the future and why he thinks he won so convincingly.
“We made promises to the people of Florida and we have delivered on those promises. And so today, after four years, the people have delivered their verdict. Freedom is here to stay,” DeSantis stated. “Now, thanks to the overwhelming support of the people of Florida, we not only won election, we have rewritten the political map. Thank you for honoring us with a win for the ages.”
He went on to say that his focus on keeping the state open and working as much as possible, especially during the pandemic, led to a record number of Americans moving there and registering as Republicans.
“Now this great exodus of Americans, for those folks, Florida for so many of them, has served as the promised land,” DeSantis added. “We have embraced freedom. We have maintained law and order. We have protected the rights of parents. We have respected our taxpayers and we reject woke ideology. We fight the woke in the legislature, we fight the woke in the schools, we fight the woke in the corporations, we will never ever surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die!”
DeSantis went on to say, “People have come here because our policies work. Leadership matters. We refuse to use polls and put our finger in the wind. Leaders don’t follow, they lead. We set out a vision. We executed on that vision. And we produced historic results, and the people of this state have responded in record fashion. Now while our country flounders due to failed leadership in Washington, Florida is on the right track.
“I believe the survival of the American experiment requires a revival of true American principles. Florida has proved that it can be done. We offer a ray of hope that better days still lie ahead. I am proud of our achievements in this state. I am honored by your support, and I look forward to the road ahead. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race in this first term. And I have kept the faith. We’ve accomplished more than anybody thought possible four years ago, but we’ve got so much more to do and I have only begun to fight,” he said.
What Gov. DeSantis just said in his victory speech after getting RE-ELECTED made ground SHAKE as crowd ERUPTED into cheers:
"We will never ever surrender to the woke mob! Florida is where woke goes to die!"
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) November 9, 2022
After getting a record-breaking $200 million for his re-election campaign, DeSantis was in a great place on Tuesday night. Compared to that, Politico said that Crist only raised about $31 million. DeSantis has only spent about $100,000 on his campaign, which means he still has about $90 million in the bank. That is a crazy amount of money left over, especially considering how many points he was ahead of Crist when he won.
What happens to all that extra money? According to Investopedia he contributions can be used in the following ways:
- Donations to charities as long as the candidate does not receive any compensation from the organizations before it is spent and the donation is not used by the charity to benefit the candidate.
- A donation of a maximum of $2,000 to another federal candidate, and donations to state or local candidates—all subject to state law.
- Gift/donations of nominal value on special occasions to anyone besides the candidate’s family.
- Unlimited transfers to a local, state, or national political party committee like the Democratic or Republican National Committees.
- Transfer to a future election campaign committee of the same candidate. For example, Bernie Sanders transferred $12.7 million from previous campaigns to his 2020 presidential committee.
- Create a Leadership PAC to back other candidates and a political agenda. Critics say these can be used as slush funds since there are fewer restrictions.234
BREAKING: Ron DeSantis has been projected to win re-election in Florida. pic.twitter.com/WOIGvg3XxI
— LifeNews.com (@LifeNewsHQ) November 9, 2022
Politico thinks that the extra $90 million could be used to run for president in 2024.
Republican lobbyist Slater Bayliss said, “If you look at where the money is coming from, it’s indicative of Gov. DeSantis being seen by national donors as the de facto frontrunner for president.”
“I think people on the left do not think their candidates sell out, and on the right we think ours cut deals, and are more pragmatic,” he continued. “Former President Trump’s whole brand on the Republican side was that he does not sell out.”
“Gov. DeSantis has built on that,” he added. “And is taken more seriously by many Republican donors.”
Other governors who have taken in massive hauls in recent election cycles include self-financers like Meg Whitman, whose $176 million during the 2010 California gubernatorial campaign included $144 million of her own money. Illinois Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker nearly entirely self-funded his $176 million 2018 campaign and $133 million reelection bid.
It remains to be seen if Governor DeSantis will run for the presidency in 2024. If he does, will Trump go against him and if so, how will that affect the party’s chances of winning? So many questions that only the future can answer. We just need to wait and see.
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