Florida Governor Ron DeSantis delivers a speech at The Heritage Foundation's 50th anniversary Leadership Summit at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, M.D., U.S., April 21, 2023. Image Credit: Reuters

Washington: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will announce he is running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination during a discussion with Twitter CEO Elon Musk on Wednesday, two sources familiar with the plans confirmed to Reuters.

DeSantis will become former US President Donald Trump's biggest rival for the Republican nomination and will likely shake up a contest that largely has been one-sided.


Musk retweeted a Fox News reporter who said the announcement would come during a Twitter Space interview at 6 p.m. (2200 GMT) on Wednesday.

Fox News also reported that DeSantis is expected to file paperwork with the Federal Election Commission along with the announcement.

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TOPSHOT - Republican gubernatorial candidate for Florida Ron DeSantis with his wife Casey DeSantis speaks to supporters during an election night watch party at the Convention Center in Tampa, Florida, on November 8, 2022. - Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has been tipped as a possible 2024 presidential candidate, was projected as one of the early winners of the night in Tuesday's midterm election. (Photo by Giorgio VIERA / AFP) Image Credit: AFP

Who is Ron DeSantis, 2024 presidential hopeful

Here are some facts about DeSantis' life and political career.

A life in public sector

DeSantis, 44, has spent most of his career in public service and government.

While at Harvard Law School, he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy and upon graduation, joined the Judge Advocate General Corps as an attorney.

In that role, he was assigned to the military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he oversaw the treatment of detainees. Later, he was deployed to Iraq to advise a team of Navy SEALs.

DeSantis worked briefly as an assistant U.S. attorney in Florida before a successful bid for a U.S. congressional seat in 2012. He served in Congress until running for governor in 2018.

Trump ties

DeSantis was largely a political unknown statewide in Florida when he sought the governor's office and was not favored to win the Republican nomination.

Then he got an endorsement from then-President Trump, whom he praised on the campaign trail and in TV ads. DeSantis ultimately won the election by a tight margin.

Trump has since taken credit for DeSantis' victory and accused his fellow Republican of being disloyal for considering challenging him for the presidential nomination.

A strong executive

That narrow victory did not convince DeSantis that he should govern by consensus.

As he has detailed in recent speeches, he believed he had a mandate to take full advantage of the powers afforded the governor, saying he wanted to take all the meat off the bone." DeSantis has wielded that power through influencing legislation, punishing his critics and packing the state's courts, offices and boards with allies. Some political observers in the state capital say he is the most powerful and feared governor in the state's history.

He won re-election by nearly 20 percentage points in 2022.

A love of baseball

As a young man growing up in Florida, DeSantis' life was consumed by baseball. His boyhood team in Dunedin, a suburb of Tampa, reached the Little League World Series in 1991. He pitched and played third base. In one game during the series, he hit a homer and struck out 11 batters.

DeSantis served as captain of the varsity baseball team as an undergraduate at Yale University. His Yale jersey hangs in his office in Florida's Capitol.

Covid and culture warrior

DeSantis is married Casey Black, whom he met when she was a TV reporter. The couple has three children.

He made his name nationally by opposing many of the policies advocated by the U.S. government to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He resisted mask and vaccine mandates, and was determined to keep Florida businesses and tourism destinations open during the bulk of the pandemic.

He has since become a leading figure within the Republican Party in fighting back against what he argues are overly progressive polices favored by educators and corporations.

He has pushed the state legislature to pass prohibitions against the teaching of Critical Race Theory which argues the nation is riven with systemic racism - and concepts of gender identity in public schools. Lawmakers also recently passed a ban on asset managers utilizing environmental, social and governance factors in making investments.

DeSantis is a persistent critic of federal immigration policies. In 2022, he was praised by conservatives and condemned by Democrats when he chartered two planes to fly Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Massachusetts.