Ron DeSantis Archives - Page 5 of 35 - Florida Politics

John Bolton backs Marco Rubio, Ron DeSantis re-election bids

On Thursday, Ambassador John Bolton announced his backing of Marco Rubio‘s bid for Senate re-election, and Ron DeSantis’ bid to get re-elected in Florida’s 6th Congressional District.

A press release from Bolton’s PAC frames the Florida endorsements as “part of a larger effort by Ambassador Bolton to ensure Republicans maintain their majority in Congress.”

“Marco Rubio has proven himself to be a valuable asset to the United States during his time in the Senate,” said Bolton. “He is one of the most powerful voices in the areas of foreign affairs and national security, and we cannot afford to lose his presence at a time when our nation is facing terrorism at home and abroad. Due to his track record and experience, and my great concern for our nation’s security, I am supporting Sen. Rubio for re-election to the United States Senate.”

Bolton also had kind words for DeSantis, who had led the money race in the GOP Senate primary up until Rubio decided to run for re-election, and DeSantis decided to run for two more years in the House of Representatives.

“As chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, Ron DeSantis’ voice has been critical in keeping America safe,” said Bolton.

“We cannot afford to lose his leadership in Congress, and Ron has my endorsement and a contribution from the John Bolton PAC, which gave $10,000 to his campaign. Ron has a bright future in Florida politics, and I will support him as he continues to serve this nation’s interests and the people of his district in the House of Representatives.”

Both Rubio and DeSantis face contested primaries. But Bolton’s support and endorsement will only bolster their cases with GOP voters.

CD 6 Republican Fred Costello ‘in it to win it’ against Ron DeSantis

Ron DeSantis decided Wednesday to run for re-election in Florida’s 6th Congressional District.

While some primary opponents cleared out of the field, at least one will stay.

State Rep. Fred Costello has no intention of leaving the race, he said in a press release Thursday.

“DeSantis’ decision to back out of the U.S. Senate race and enter the Congressional District 6 race rather than run in Congressional District 4 where he lives does not in any way change my focus,” Costello said.

“In spite of the odds favoring a candidate with over $3 million in the bank, I will enthusiastically continue my campaign to serve as our District 6 Congressman, where I have lived for 39 years, as I said I would do,” Costello added.

Costello went on to contrast himself, “a candidate with a solid conservative record as a state representative who is focused on the needs of our community and our great nation,” versus the incumbent, “a candidate who is not a part of our community and has already demonstrated he is more interested in raising his national profile as a career politician in preparation for higher office than serving his constituents as their Congressman.”

There is a resource gap in the campaign. Costello, as of his first-quarter filing, has $86,000 banked. DeSantis has $3.2 million, with PAC money and soft money support not factored in.

Costello, a former Ormond Beach mayor, added that unlike “DeSantis, who lives near Jacksonville outside District 6 and has already demonstrated he is looking toward the next step in his political career, I will be fully focused on Congressional District 6 for the next eight years should the voters give me the honor of representing them as their member of Congress.”

Costello’s narrative is already drawing skepticism from informed sources, who note Costello cut a deal to leave the state House as part of the contentious race between Eric Eisnaugle and Chris Sprowls. Costello backed Eisnaugle. That support, some suggest, is a reason Speaker-Designate Richard Corcoran, a Sprowls backer, isn’t helping to clear the field for Costello jumping back into the state House race.

Mitch Perry Report for 6.23.16 — Another story on Patrick Murphy enhancing his resume

Forgive us for not being too coherent, having stayed up until the early morning hours today watching the Hillsborough County MPO’s discussion of the TBX project until 2:20 a.m.this morning. You can read our account here.

Although the huge news in Florida Politics yesterday morning was Marco Rubio‘s re-entry into a Senate race he said he would never get back into; you have to believe Rubio feels like he can handle his competition pretty handily.

The Democratic Party, both statewide and nationally, have gone whole hog with Patrick Murphy as being the man who can take the seat (forget the polls that show Alan Grayson to do virtually as well against every Republican, including Rubio).

What about Murphy today, after CBS Miami aired a very damaging report on Murphy’s claims about his role as a small-business man and as a CPA. Some of this had already been reported by the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald‘s Kristen Clark. But it’s damaging.

Check out Jim DeFede‘s story here.

In other news …

Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson — the two top Democratic Senate candidates who would lose to Rubio according to a new poll, predictably blasted the Republican for his flip-flop back into the race. Murphy later said on a conference call that the fact that Rubio won’t preclude staying in the Senate for the full six years to run for president again was “shocking” and “unacceptable.”

It’s hard to read Carlos Lopez-Cantera “thank” Rubio for getting into the race. It just is.

Moments after the news became official, conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham (a Ron DeSantis supporter), blasted Rubio, saying it’s exactly why people are cynical about politics.

Tampa Bay area Democratic Representative Kathy Castor was part of a group of dozens of Democrats holding a sit-in on the House floor, demanding that House Speaker Paul Ryan give them a vote on two different gun-control measures.

St. Petersburg-based trial attorney Augie Ribeiro will reportedly enter the SD 19 race.

Andrew Warren, running to beat Mark Ober for Hillsborough State Attorney, has unveiled a set of ethics reforms for the office.

Stanley Gray explains why he’s the best choice in the Hillsborough County School Board’s District 7 race.

Brandon Patty withdraws from congressional race

Brandon Patty, in many respects, is cut from the same cloth as Ron DeSantis, the incumbent Republican in Florida’s 6th Congressional District.

A young, telegenic Republican with a strong sense of America taking an assertive role in the foreign policy sphere, it was and is easy to see Patty as a rising star in the Florida and national GOP.

With DeSantis out of the Senate race and running for re-election, Patty revealed to FloridaPolitics.com today he would not be running for the Republican nomination in CD 6 after all.

In terms of timing, having to announce this on Wednesday is bittersweet. Sen. Rubio was slated to headline a D.C. fundraiser for Patty this evening, which would have been a boost to his campaign in a crowded CD 6 field.

Now, however, Patty is suspending his campaign and endorsing DeSantis for re-election and Rubio for Senate.

And the festivities in Washington will be a “thank you” event.

Patty sounded disappointed, yet undaunted on the phone from Washington.

“I got into this race for the issues,” Patty said, which include national security, a desire to “take back Washington,” and to “reassert American leadership.”

There has been speculation he might look at a state House run; however, Patty tells us he’s “not pivoting … not running for any other seat” in 2016.

Despite the end of his campaign, Patty describes it as an “unbelievable experience,” about which he has “zero regrets.”

After Senate flip-flop, Patrick Murphy asks how can Floridians trust Marco Rubio?

Treasure Coast Congressman and U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Patrick Murphy says Floridians should think long and hard about Marco Rubio’s decision to run now for re-election for his U.S. Senate seat, a seat that Rubio insisted he would never run for again over the past year-and-half.

“Who does he think he is that all of a sudden Floridians are going to accept him back after he’s told them how much he doesn’t like the job?,” Murphy asked reporters on a conference call on Wednesday, saying that any employer in the private sector would surely be hesitant at a minimum to rehire an employee who had verbally trashed the place he had worked for over the past year.

PolitiFact listed a series of comments that the Florida GOP Senator has made over the past year on Wednesday, all of them capturing some variation of Rubio saying that he’d either be president next year — or become a private citizen once again — but definitely not a Senator.

In some publications it’s been reported that Rubio won’t commit to serving the completion of another six-year term if elected again this fall, allowing himself the opportunity to take another shot at the presidency if Donald Trump doesn’t take the White House. Congressman Murphy said such an attitude was “unacceptable.”

“Think about this — he won’t even admit that he’ll do a full term,” Murphy said. “The arrogance of that is shocking to me.”

Recent polls show that while Murphy and his main Democratic Senate opponent, Congressman Alan Grayson, had steady leads over every Republican that had been in the race, both fall short of defeating Rubio this fall, which is perhaps why both Murphy and the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee were relentless in their attacks on Rubio on Wednesday.

“Senator Rubio thinks the Senate can’t get things done,” said Murphy. “He said ‘we’re not going to fix America with senators and congressmen. He said, ‘I’m missing votes because I’m leaving the Senate.’ You know Senator, I just gotta tell you, I think Floridians expect better.”

Murphy participated in the conference call after spending time with his Democratic colleagues in a sit-in on the House floor, demanding that Speaker Paul Ryan allow votes on gun-control measures to be voted on by the entire caucus.

While Murphy was busy lambasting Rubio today, there is no guarantee that the two will match up in a one-on-one general election battle for the Senate come November. According to According to a new Targeted Persuasion survey, 30 percent of likely Democratic primary voters said they planned to vote for Alan Grayson in the Aug. 30 primary. Twenty-seven percent of voters polled stated that they supported Murphy; while 5 percent said they planned to vote for Pam Keith.

Murphy said without much enthusiasm at the end of the call that if Grayson were to defeat him in the Aug. 30 primary, he would support him in the general election. But Murphy said that Grayson had “disqualified” himself from the race, referring to Grayson’s once offshore hedge fund.

In April, the Office of Congressional Ethics released a report recommending that a House committee keep investigating Grayson. He’s been accused him of improperly managing a hedge fund, not disclosing all his finances and conducting business deals with the federal government that would be a conflict of interest. Grayson has downplayed the investigation, and has suggested that the entire issue has been resolved.

With today’s announcement, the GOP senate field has been reduced to three people. In addition to Rubio, only Bradenton developer Carlos Beruff and Orlando businessman Todd Wilcox remain in the race. Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Congressman Ron DeSantis dropped out of the race, following Congressman David Jolly, who announced he would run for re-election for his current congressional seat last Friday, anticipating Rubio’s announcement

Marco Rubio rallies backers, calls for their continued support in Senate bid

Marco Rubio told supporters he needs their help to make sure his 2016 re-election bid is successful.

The Miami Republican announced Wednesday he was running for re-election to the U.S. Senate. In a statement announcing his decision, Rubio said the Senate will play an important role in the coming years “as a check and balance on the excesses of a president.”

“Control of the Senate may very well come down to the race in Florida. That means the future of the Supreme Court will be determined by the Florida Senate seat. It means the future of the disastrous Iran nuclear deal will be determined by the Florida Senate seat,” he said in the statement. “It means the direction of our country’s fiscal and economic policies will be determined by this Senate seat. The stakes for our nation could not be higher.”

Rubio reiterated that message on a call with supporters Wednesday afternoon. He said when his presidential bid came to an end, he was committed to the decision not to run again. But when his friend, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, asked him to consider another run, Rubio said he would think about it.

Rubio said he spent the weekend with his family discussing the possibility, and told supporters he has “always been in public service for the desire to make a difference.”

Rubio acknowledged the race will be difficult, and said it will likely be an expensive proposition. Rubio encouraged supporters to donate, telling them he can’t do it without their help.

The late entry into the race means Rubio about two months to build his campaign infrastructure and raise a substantial amount of campaign cash.

The race is expected to be an expensive one. Earlier this week, the Tampa Bay Times reported Carlos Beruff told campaign staff he was prepared to put another $10 million to $15 million into the race. The newspaper reported Beruff has already spent more than $4 million of his own money on the race.

Beruff and Orlando Republican Todd Wilcox both said they plan to continue their Senate bid, despite Rubio’s decision to run again. Three other Republicans — Lopez-Cantera, Rep. David Jolly, and Rep. Ron DeSantis — have dropped their Senate bids.

Rubio told supporters believes if he wins, Republicans will retain their Senate majority. He also said he plans to spend time on the campaign trail rallying support from Floridians.

The Republican primary is Aug. 30.

Club for Growth endorses Marco Rubio, Ron DeSantis

The last-week moves today by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis to seek re-election will have the backing of a group that played a major role in getting each of them elected in the first place.

The Club for Growth PAC, a conservative economics committee, had strongly backed both of them in the past and was backing DeSantis in his now-aborted U.S. Senate run. But with Rubio entering and DeSantis moving back to Florida’s 6th Congressional District, the club quickly embraced them in their new roles.

“With today’s announcement by Sen. Rubio and the anticipation that Rep. DeSantis will run again in FL-06, we are committed to the re-election of both of these pro-growth candidates,” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh. “They will remain leaders in their respective chambers, and we believe Rep. DeSantis clearly has great potential for a run at the Senate in 2018.”

The club funneled more than $400,000 into Rubio’s campaigns, and more than $200,000 into DeSantis’s campaigns, to date, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

David Santiago to drop CD 6 run, run for re-election to HD 27

The dominoes are falling now that Marco Rubio is running for re-election to the Senate.

Ron DeSantis has all but announced his intention to run for re-election in Florida’s 6th Congressional District.

And those who had hoped to make the jump to the U.S. House of Representatives, such as state Rep. David Santiago, are rethinking the move.

Informed sources say what Matt Dixon of Politico just tweeted this morning: Santiago is poised to run for re-election in House District 27, the seat he was first elected to in 2012.

Right now, one Republican has qualified for the race: William McBride.

McBride will not be running after all, notes a statement from his camp:

“David Santiago is a great public servant who always has the interests of his constituents at heart. As I’ve knocked on over 5,000 doors this spring and summer, I’ve heard stories about how he has helped our community and been a great advocate for the people of South Volusia County. My campaign has always been about service and serving. I am fighting to ensure those who don’t have a voice, find one. With David coming back to serve, I think it is in the best interest of our community, our state and the conservative movement that I withdraw. I will transfer my campaign to 2018, and keep working hard toward helping my community.”

Another potential opponent, Zenaida Denizac, has yet to qualify, but has roughly $5,000 cash on hand.

As of his first-quarter filing, Santiago had $108,000 cash on hand.

 

Reversing course, Marco Rubio announces he will seek re-election

It’s official: Marco Rubio is running for re-election.

The Miami Republican announced Wednesday he planned to run again in 2016. The announcement came after weeks of speculation about whether Rubio would seek another term in the U.S. Senate. The decision reverses a pledge to return to private life when his term was over in January.

“In politics, admitting you’ve changed your mind is not something most people like to do. But here it goes,” said Rubio in a statement. “I have decided to seek re-election to the United States Senate. I understand my opponents will try to use this decision to score political points against me. Have at it. Because I have never claimed to be perfect, or to have all the answers.”

Rubio announced in 2015 he was running for the presidency. While he was considered by many to be a top contender, his presidential campaign failed to gain steam. He suspended his campaign in March, following a poor showing in the Florida primary.

Rubio received 27 percent of the vote, coming in second behind Republican Donald Trump. Trump won nearly 46 percent of the vote, coming out on top in most of the state’s 67 counties.

In his announcement Wednesday, Rubio said: “no matter who is elected president, there is reason for worry.”

“With Hillary Clinton, we would have four more years of the same failed economic policies that have left us with a stagnant economy. We would have four more years of the same failed foreign policy that has allowed radical Islam to spread, and terrorists to be released from Guantánamo,” he said. “And even worse, if Clinton were president and her party took control of Congress, she would govern without Congressional oversight or limit. It would be a repeat of the early years of the current administration, when we got Obamacare, the failed stimulus, and a record debt.”

Rubio said the prospect of a “Trump presidency is also worrisome.”

“It is no secret that I have significant disagreements with Donald Trump. His positions on many key issues are still unknown. And some of his statements, especially about women and minorities, I find not just offensive but unacceptable,” said Rubio. “If he is elected, we will need Senators willing to encourage him in the right direction, and if necessary, stand up to him. I’ve proven a willingness to do both.”

Political observers have long said the state’s Senate race will be one to watch, and Republicans have said it could be key to keeping control of the Senate. A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday morning found Rubio was the best bet for Republicans in a general election matchup.

The survey found Rubio would defeat Democrat Patrick Murphy 47 percent to 40 percent. In a hypothetical matchup between Rubio and Democrat Alan Grayson, Rubio would receive 48 percent of the vote to Grayson’s 40 percent.

Rubio said Wednesday the Senate is a place “from which you can perform great services for the people you have the honor of representing.” He also called the Senate a place “from which great policy advances can be made.”

“But as we begin the next chapter in the history of our nation, there’s another role for the Senate that could end up being its most important in the years to come: The Constitutional power to act as a check and balance on the excesses of a president,” he said. “Control of the Senate may very well come down to the race in Florida. That means the future of the Supreme Court will be determined by the Florida Senate seat. It means the future of the disastrous Iran nuclear deal will be determined by the Florida Senate seat. It means the direction of our country’s fiscal and economic policies will be determined by this Senate seat. The stakes for our nation could not be higher.”

Rubio’s decision, which comes just two days before the end of the qualifying period, has already had an impact on the Republican field. Five Republicans had initially thrown their hat in the race to replace Rubio, but that number is quickly dwindling.

Rep. David Jolly announced last week that he was dropping his Senate bid, choosing to run for re-election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District. Rep. Ron DeSantis is also expected to end his Senate bid.

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a longtime friend of Rubio’s and a Senate candidate, said he encouraged Rubio to reconsider his decision. Lopez-Cantera said he would not file to run if Rubio decided to get in the race, and on Wednesday made it official.

“As his friend, I know this was a thoughtful yet difficult decision that was made with our country’s best interest at heart. Florida needs a principled conservative leader now more than ever, and that is what Marco has been and will continue to be,” he said in a statement. “Additionally, as I previously stated, I will not file as a candidate in this U.S. Senate race, continuing my service as Florida’s lieutenant governor with Governor Scott focusing on Florida.”

Republicans Todd Wilcox and Carlos Beruff both said they plan to stay in the race, regardless of Rubio’s decision. In a statement Wednesday, Beruff said he is “not going to back down from the Washington establishment.”

“This isn’t Marco Rubio’s seat; this is Florida’s seat. The power brokers in Washington think they can control this race.  They think they can tell the voters of Florida who their candidates are. But the voters of Florida will not obey them,” said Beruff. “Like Marco Rubio in 2010, I’m not going to back down from the Washington establishment. They are the problem, not the solution.”

Wilcox said he decided to run “because of the complete failure on the part of our elected civilian leadership to solve the problems we face as a nation.”

“I am tired of going into the voting booth and holding my nose to vote for the least-worst candidate on the ballot.  We need to elect serious leaders that understand our enemies and our economy,” said Wilcox. “I have 27 years of real world experience in national security and the economy, experience that is desperately needed in Washington now more than ever. None of that has changed based on yet another career politician entering this race.”

Rubio has already received the support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The organization swiftly issued a statement saying Rubio will have its full support.

“Marco Rubio is a valued leader for Florida and for our country, and I welcome his decision to ask voters for the opportunity to serve once again,” said Sen. Roger F. Wicker, the chair of the NRSC. “Senator Rubio has made a lasting impact when it comes to standing up against the failed Obama agenda and has articulated a clear vision for making our country safer and more prosperous. His campaign will have the full support of the NRSC.”

The decision to run for re-election means Rubio will have to spend the next few weeks campaigning across the state.

The Republican primary is Aug. 30, but vote-by-mail ballots will be sent to military and overseas voters on July 16. Elections officials will begin sending vote-by-mail ballots to domestic voters beginning July 26.

While Rubio may be the most well-known candidate in the race, he could face some challenges. According to the Quinnipiac University poll released this week, 45 percent of Floridians said they approve of the job he is doing in the U.S. Senate; while 44 percent said they disapproved.

Rubio said he made the decision after discussing it with his wife and their four children while in West Miami for Father’s Day.

“There was one path that was more personally comfortable and probably smarter politically. But after much thought and prayer, together we chose to continue with public service; to continue down the path that provides the opportunity to make a positive difference at this critical and uncertain time for our nation,” he said. “In the end, there was simply too much at stake for any other choice.”

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Reporter Scott Powers contributed to this report.

Why Im Running - Marco Rubio for US Senate EDIT

Laura Ingraham slams Marco Rubio — says Ron DeSantis should stay in Senate race

Marco Rubio’s decision to run for re-election to his U.S. Senate seat after saying he wouldn’t is receiving an avalanche of criticism, and not just from Democrats.

Conservative radio talk-show host Laura Ingraham, a supporter of Congressman Ron DeSantis‘ bid for the Senate, reacted with hostility to the news Rubio was breaking his vow and getting back into the race, three months after he was humiliated in the Florida presidential primary by Donald Trump.

“I think it just adds to the cynicism of the electorate toward politicians. They can’t believe what they say,” Ingraham said upon the seeing The Washington Post‘s story posted online that Rubio would be announcing later Wednesday he is officially running for re-election.

Ingraham slammed Rubio’s comments from last week that the shooting massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that killed 49 people was the catalyst that changed his mind about getting back into the race, and went back to linking the Florida Republican to his support for comprehensive immigration reform back in 2013, a huge issue with conservatives.

“Why would Orlando change your mind? What unique ability do you have to stop Islamic terrorism in the United States?” she asked. “After all, the plan you endorsed and that you supported, according to the Congressional Budget Office and all of the analysis, it wouldn’t have stopped the people coming across the border. Fifty percent would still come across the border illegally? How is that good for our national security? How is that for stopping terrorism?”

Ingraham said she had participated in a fundraiser for DeSantis and expressed anger that he would drop out because of Rubio’s entrance back into the Senate contest. “I guess he’s just making a practical call,” she said of DeSantis. “The big money people are going to line up for Rubio again.”

“Why would you be afraid of Marco Rubio when he couldn’t win his own state?” Ingraham then said with frustration in her voice, referring to how Rubio only won his home county of Miami-Dade and lost the other 66 counties to Trump back in the March presidential primary. “It’s ridiculous. If I’m DeSantis, I’m saying: ‘You know, I like Marco Rubio, he’s a nice person, but he pledged not to run, and I’m going to take him at his word. I’m running for the U.S. Senate …'”

A spokesman for DeSantis’ Senate campaign told Floridapolitics.com an announcement about DeSantis’ future would come later Wednesday.

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