Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is actively preparing for a possible presidential run, according to a report.
Advisers to the 44-year-old Republican have already identified multiple potential hires for a 2024 bid in integral early primary states like New Hampshire and Iowa, a source with knowledge of the plans told The Washington Post.
The GOP source said that Phil Cox and Generra Peck, who were both key members of DeSantis’ 2022 gubernatorial reelection campaign, are actively involved in ongoing talks about 2024.
Cox, a former executive for the Republican Governors Association who has worked on hundreds of political campaigns, and Peck, DeSantis’ 2022 campaign manager, are expected by many to play key roles if the popular Sunshine State governor decides to throw his hat in the race, insiders told the publication.
DeSantis has been hesitant to confirm whether or not he plans to run for president, although many consider him the most viable GOP alternative to the 76-year-old Trump for the party’s presidential nomination.
A recent “Granite State Poll” conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center showed Trump trailing DeSantis by 12 points among New Hampshire Republicans — even though the former president remains the GOP’s only announced presidential candidate.
Meanwhile, Trump kicked off his campaign with stops Saturday in New Hampshire and South Carolina.
“I’m more angry now and I’m more committed now than I ever was, Trump told the audience in New Hampshire.
“Together we will complete the unfinished business of making America great again.”
Bill Bowen, a New Hampshire GOP delegate, told the Washington Post that DeSantis has significant support in his state.
“I’m convinced there’s a good network of establishment party people in New Hampshire that will quickly have a very effective DeSantis campaign,” Bowen said.
DeSantis was re-elected in Florida by an impressive 19-point margin — sparking speculation that he could be the young, fresh breath of air that the party needs after losing the White House in 2020.
However, an Emerson poll released this week showed Trump maintains a 26-point lead (55% to 29%) over DeSantis.
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