Fla. Gov. DeSantis, who has ties to Ohio, speaks at area dinner

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t make any announcements with regard to the 2024 national election, but he delivered a speech in West Chester Twp. Thursday night with presidential campaign energy.

“As we look into 2024, I can tell you this. The left is playing for keeps. If the Democrats are able to sweep and retain the White House, take back the House, add a couple seats in the Senate, they are not going to be pursuing an agenda that is as American as apple pie,” said the 44-year-old governor, who many believe will announce a presidential bid later this spring or early this summer.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

DeSantis was the keynote speaker at the Butler County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner fundraiser at the Savannah Center in West Chester Twp. The Florida governor does have ties to the Buckeye state as his wife, Casey, is a Troy native, and his mother, Karen DeSantis, is a Youngstown native.

The former Naval officer hit all his talking points, from touting Florida’s success, and what he says is working in Florida can work across the country. He said Florida didn’t become a red state by chance.

“We moved people in our direction and that’s because people sided with us over the left on the issues that matter,” DeSantis said, describing the Democrat’s fiscal policies as “tax-and-spend,” and thus driving inflation “through the roof and escalated our national debt.”

He also addressed the so-called “woke ideology” and his fight with Disney, and said “stay tuned” for a “round two” on DeSantis’ battle with the Orlando theme park battle next week.

“What we do in Florida is we recognize the threat of woke for what it is, we fight the woke in our schools, we fight the woke in the halls the legislature, we fight the woke in the corporations,” he said. “We never, ever surrender to the woke mob; our state is where woke comes to die.”

Hours ahead of Thursday’s Lincoln Day Dinner, Innovation Ohio organized a press conference objecting DeSantis’ visit to Ohio.

Innovation Ohio President and CEO Desiree Tims said DeSantis’ visit to Ohio “is not welcome and he has a history and a record of problematic agendas.”

“He and the Republicans here in this state, who are extreme, Ron DeSantis represents that same extreme ideology,” she said. “He is very extreme on guns, very extreme on abortion. We do not need more people who support extreme agendas and policies that are not helping hard-working Americans every single day.”

Butler County Democratic Party Executive Chairwoman Kathy Wyenandt said Desantis’ blueprint in Florida isn’t working for his home state, and won’t work in Ohio.

“Ohio is desperate to attract young people here to work, put down roots, and start a family,” she said. “DeSantis’s formula of pulling stunts for political gain, dismantling public education, hateful culture-war policies, and a high cost of housing is not a recipe to bring them here.”

If DeSantis does announce his presidency as it’s expected, as of now, he would be the sixth Republican in the primary race.

In November, former President Donald Trump was the first to announce his candidacy for a second non-consecutive term. Then in February, two Republicans announced: former Trump U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Feb. 14, and Cincinnati native Vivek Ramaswamy, a 37-year-old entrepreneur and author of “Woke, Inc.,” a week later.

On April 2, former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson announced in an ABC News interview he is also running, and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, announced a presidential exploratory committee on Wednesday.

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