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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis managed to pull off a landslide victory on Tuesday over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist, himself a one-term Sunshine State governor who defected to the opposition party.
In his victory speech Tuesday evening with wife Casey DeSantis at his side, the popular governor, who won by nearly 20 points, laid out his vision for the future as well as why he believes 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 said. “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 point out that his emphasis on keeping the state open and functioning as much as possible, especially during the pandemic, led to historic numbers of Americans relocating there, and many of them, if not most, 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 said. “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!”
“People have come here because our policies work,” DeSantis went on. “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 concluded.
DeSantis was in a terrific place heading into Tuesday night after raising a record-breaking $200 million for his re-election campaign. By comparison, Crist only raised around $31 million, Politico reported. DeSantis has only spent around $100,000 on his campaign which means he still has around $90 million left in the bank.
BREAKING: Ron DeSantis has been projected to win re-election in Florida. pic.twitter.com/WOIGvg3XxI
— LifeNews.com (@LifeNewsHQ) November 9, 2022
Politico believes that the extra $90 million could be used for a possible 2024 presidential campaign.
“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,” Republican lobbyist Slater Bayliss said.
“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 said. “Former President Trump’s whole brand on the Republican side was that he does not sell out.”
“Gov. DeSantis has built on that,” he said, “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 has long been said that ‘money is the mother’s milk of politics,’” Florida Republican consultant David Johnson said. “The DeSantis team has built a national dairy farm to table operation in just four years. We have seen large networked donor operations on a grand scale operate in the past, to some great effect.”
“Team DeSantis is more notable because it is small, fierce and reaping such huge amounts,” he said.