Ron DeSantis filed official paperwork Wednesday afternoon to run for president in 2024.
The much-anticipated run has now begun and is likely to lead to a ruthless battle between Florida Governor and former President Donald Trump as the two frontrunners battle for the Republican nomination.
DeSantis is expected to have a conversation on Twitter with its CEO Elon Musk later Wednesday evening to confirm the run after months of speculation that he would be in on the running.
But Trump still has a commanding lead over DeSantis — and all other Republican challengers of 2024.
Ron DeSantis will announce his candidacy for president on Twitter Wednesday night in a conversation with Elon Musk after months of speculation
Gov. DeSantis went on an international trip with Florida first lady Casey DeSantis last month, further fueling speculation that his presidential announcement was imminent. Pictured: DeSantis addresses the press with his wife during his April 24 visit to Tokyo, Japan
The former president has an outright majority and leads the field with 53 percent support from Republicans in the latest CNN/SSRS poll, which puts his voter support at double that of DeSantis’ 26 percent support.
That’s consistent with other surveys showing DeSantis trailing well behind Trump, with a spread that has only grown as Trump has faced a series of legal challenges.
Sources confirmed to DailyMail.com that the Florida governor will hold a Twitter Spaces with Musk on Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET to formally announce that he is entering the race to mount a showdown with Trump.
At 44, DeSantis is one of the younger candidates to bid for the Oval Office and is more than three decades younger than his main rival.
The long-anticipated start to the Republican campaign in the White House begins with a talk led by David Sacks, a tech entrepreneur close to Musk.
Musk confirmed Tuesday that he will interview DeSantis at the live audio-only event, adding that the governor “has quite an announcement to make,” but has no plans to endorse any particular candidate at this time.
Just 24 hours before the call with Musk, Florida first lady Casey DeSantis posted a video clip on Twitter previewing the launch.
A British narrator promoted a “brighter future” when a short video of Governor DeSantis appeared behind the scenes preparing to take the stage.
The video ended with a prompt for viewers to “text LAUNCH to 512345.”
DeSantis’ campaign will release a campaign video after his announcement on Wednesday — and then he is expected to tour the states early in the primary process after Memorial Day.
The stage is now set for a bitter battle for the White House between opinion leaders Trump and DeSantis
The DeSantis wave to a crowd of supporters in Tallahassee, Florida during the second inauguration of the governor on January 3, 2023. From L-R: Mason, 4, Ron, Casey, Mamie, 2, and Madison, 5
Trump didn’t wait for DeSantis to officially launch his campaign to ridicule his rival.
The attacks began right when the former president went out in late January. Speaking to reporters on his flight to an event in Columbia, South Carolina, Trump said it would be “disloyal” for DeSantis to launch a bid against him.
He has since mocked the governor’s personality and repeated unsubstantiated allegations against him, such as that he had an inappropriate relationship with minors when he was a teacher in Georgia.
The Trump attacks, which were a hallmark of his successful 2016 campaign and his failed 2020 campaign, came on his own Truth Social platform before DeSantis filed paperwork on Wednesday.
Among the insults were political attacks more standard in past campaigns—calling DeSantis a risk to older Americans on Social Security and Medicare and berating him for being out of touch with the Republican base.
“Ron DeSanctus can’t win the general election (or get the nomination) because he VOTED TO DESTROY SOCIAL SECURITY, EVEN WANTED TO RAISE THE MINIMUM AGE TO 70 (or more!), VOTED FOR SEVERELY INJURED MEDICINE, AND FIGHTED HARD AND VOTED FOR 23% ‘TAX ON EVERYTHING’ SALES TAX. He was and is a disciple of the terrible RINO Paul Ryan and others too numerous to list. Also, he is in dire need of a personality transplant and, as far as I know, they are not yet medically available. An unfaithful person!’
More recently, Trump posted a message on his Truth Social platform claiming, “Any Republican who challenges Trump can’t be America first.”