Who is Ron DeSantis, 2024 US presidential candidate?

·3-min read

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


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 US 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 US attorney in Florida before a successful bid for a US congressional seat in 2012. He served in Congress until running for governor in 2018.


DeSantis was largely a political unknown statewide in Florida when he sought the governor's office and was not favoured 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.


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.


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.


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 US 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 favoured by educators and corporations.


DeSantis has been embroiled in a public fight with Walt Disney Co, which was critical of his efforts to limit school instruction on gender identity.

DeSantis attempted to strip the Walt Disney World theme park of its self-governing powers, and the company responded with a lawsuit. The company's CEO, Bob Iger, has called DeSantis "anti-business".