“Governor Ron DeSantis Faces Setbacks in Kentucky and Jacksonville Races”


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently experienced significant setbacks in two key races, highlighting the challenges he may face as he prepares for a potential presidential campaign in 2024. In the Kentucky Republican primary for governor, DeSantis made a last-minute endorsement of Kelly Craft, a former United Nations ambassador and member of a prominent Republican megadonor family. However, Craft ultimately lost in a landslide to Daniel Cameron, the Trump-backed candidate who had secured the endorsement of former President Donald J. Trump. Adding to DeSantis’s woes, a Republican candidate he endorsed conceded to a Democratic opponent in the mayoral race in Jacksonville, the largest city in Florida.

DeSantis’s Preparation for 2024:
As Governor DeSantis gears up for a potential presidential run in 2024, he has been intensifying his preparations. He has been holding private dinners with top donors in Tallahassee, aiming to secure their support. Notably, DeSantis has also taken a direct shot at former President Trump by criticizing his ambiguous stance on signing a six-week abortion ban. This move signals a possible strategy by DeSantis to differentiate himself from Trump and appeal to a broader base of conservative voters.

Kentucky Republican Primary Upset:
In a surprising turn of events, DeSantis’s endorsement of Kelly Craft in the Kentucky Republican primary did not yield the desired outcome. Despite Craft’s significant campaign expenditures, polls had indicated she was headed for defeat to Daniel Cameron, the state’s attorney general and an ally of Senator Mitch McConnell. Cameron had secured the endorsement of former President Trump in June 2022. The primary results showed Craft trailing far behind with only 17 percent of the vote, while Cameron emerged victorious with 47 percent. Cameron’s victory speech emphasized the strength of the “Trump culture of winning,” a phrase that DeSantis himself has frequently used to rally the Republican Party.

Jacksonville Mayoral Race Loss:
Governor DeSantis faced another setback when the Republican candidate he endorsed, Daniel Davis, conceded to the Democratic candidate, Donna Deegan, in the mayoral race in Jacksonville. Despite Jacksonville’s history of Republican mayors, early results indicated Deegan leading with roughly 52 percent of the vote. This loss raises questions about DeSantis’s influence and support within his own state, particularly in a crucial city like Jacksonville.

Implications for DeSantis’s Presidential Campaign:
The recent setbacks in Kentucky and Jacksonville highlight the challenges DeSantis may encounter in his bid for the presidency in 2024. While he has been gaining momentum and generating attention as a potential Republican candidate, these defeats indicate that his endorsements and support may not guarantee electoral success. Additionally, DeSantis’s decision to distance himself from Trump on certain issues could further complicate his relationship with the former president’s base, which remains significant within the Republican Party.

Governor Ron DeSantis’s recent setbacks in the Kentucky Republican primary and the Jacksonville mayoral race present hurdles for his potential 2024 presidential campaign. These defeats underscore the uncertainties and complexities involved in navigating the Republican Party’s landscape, where the influence of former President Donald Trump continues to loom large. As DeSantis intensifies his preparations for a presidential run, he must carefully navigate the challenges posed by rival candidates and the ever-shifting dynamics within the Republican Party.