Ron DeSantis among TIME’s 2022 Person of the Year finalists
Ron DeSantis

DeSantis’ popularity among stalwart conservatives and Republican converts has soared over the last couple years.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is among the finalists for TIME’s “2022 Person of the Year” honors.

TIME revealed its shortlist, which its editors whittled down to a list of 10 based on who they believe had the most influence on the world this year.

Others in consideration include Republican Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney, China President Xi Jinping, billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter, to whom TIME bestowed the title last year.

Also in contention are all nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court, protesters in Iran and American gun safety advocates, according to a breakdown of the finalists Today published Monday.

DeSantis’ popularity among stalwart conservatives and Republican converts has soared over the last couple of years, extending far beyond the Sunshine State’s borders and establishing him as the biggest threat to former President Donald Trump’s position as the face of the GOP.

His repeated rejection of COVID-19 mandates, efforts to curtail so-called “woke” policies in public schools and workplaces, and brazen style in dealing with opponents, including monolithic companies like Disney, has won him broad acclaim within his party.

Many of those stances — including his support of a new law restricting classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual preference critics called “Don’t Say Gay” and a $12 million program to fly undocumented migrants from conservative to liberal states — have also drawn sharp rebukes from critics who say he works more to divide than unite.

Last month, he won re-election by a landslide, further cementing himself as a powerhouse politician and a likely front-runner for the Republican nomination in a to-be-announced run at the American presidency.

But even before that, DeSantis was on TIME’s radar as a pivotal figure. In May, the outlet included him in its list of the “100 Most Influential People of 2022.”

“During the pandemic, most people stayed home, and those who didn’t probably moved to Florida. Despite relentless criticism, Gov. Ron DeSantis kept schools open, ensured Florida’s economy remained open for business, and allowed individuals to determine their own risk tolerance. His approach works. It’s one that has allowed Florida to emerge from the pandemic as a national model for personal freedom, economic growth, environmental protection, and educational excellence,” former Gov. Jeb Bush wrote in a short essay accompanying DeSantis’ entry in the list.

“Florida continues to see record population growth, unemployment remains below the national average, the private sector is growing, and Florida remains a national leader in school choice. On top of that, DeSantis has demonstrated his environmental credentials with major investments to restore America’s Everglades, preserve and expand wildlife corridors, and protect Florida’s precious waterways.

“While the Beltway crowd may not like his style, it’s his record that will become his legacy.”

TIME will reveal its choice for the “2022 Person of the Year” on Wednesday.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • Joe Corsin

    December 5, 2022 at 4:32 pm

    What a joke. These politicians aren’t worth the powder it would take to blow their heads off. This country fked.

  • Virginia

    December 5, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    DeSantis is not as brilliant as Jeb Bush seems to think he is. He opened the country too soon, causing infections and long Covid throughout the state, limited Covid data, and hired a Surgeon General that professional colleagues refused to recommend. (Just this week, we learned of yet another use of bad data by the Surgeon General this time with regard to transgender individuals.) His unfavorables are very high in FL because he is criticized for having “a big mouth” and for refusing to interact with the press.

  • Josh Green

    December 6, 2022 at 1:36 am

    Hitler was Person of the Year too.

Comments are closed.


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