Florida pols react to Ron DeSantis suspending campaign
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 5/5/23-Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference after the 2023 legislative session concluded, Friday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

The praise and criticism was predictably partisan.

After a disappointing outcome in Iowa and even worse results forecast for this week’s Primary in New Hampshire, Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended his campaign Sunday and endorsed former President Donald Trump.

It didn’t take long for Sunshine State politicians to weigh in.

— U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, a Naples Republican: “Florida is all in for President Trump! Let’s get to work, save our country and beat Joe Biden!”

— U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds, a Naples Republican: “It’s time to unite behind Donald J. Trump and Make America Great Again! This is the right decision by Governor DeSantis.”

— U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost, an Orlando Democrat: “Thoughts and prayers to our dear Governor.”

— U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican: “Welcome Home, Ron! It’s great to have America’s Governor back onside.”

— U.S. Rep. Laurel Lee, a Thonotosassa Republican: “Our country needs a conservative leader in the White House. While I was proud to support my former boss, Ron DeSantis, during his campaign, I have great faith in the leadership and proven track record of President Trump. He is the candidate who can unite Republicans, reverse the horrendous open border policies of Joe Biden, and take back the presidency for conservatives. President Trump has my endorsement and my full support.”

— U.S. Rep. Cory Mills, a Winter Park Republican: “Florida gets our Governor back, and it’s time for America to get its President back. Trump 2024.”

— U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a Parkland Democrat: “🥝”

— U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, a Kissimmee Democrat: “Worst. Presidential Campaign. Ever. And he forced his extreme right wing agenda on Floridians. 2024 will be a long needed reckoning.”

— U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican: “Glad to see the Governor heading back to the great state of Florida to finish the job he was re-elected to do and avoid an embarrassing third-place finish in New Hampshire and South Carolina.”

— U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Weston Democrat: “It was over before it even started. Florida is over you too. Don’t come home and hurt Florida more than you already have.”

— Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo: America’s Governor Ron DeSantis is an exceptional leader and he has a bright future leading our state, and one day our nation. I was proud to support his campaign and share with voters his incredible record of success here in the free state of Florida. As we head toward November, the stakes are very high. Our party must unite and work together. I am proud to stand with Gov. Ron DeSantis and Speaker Paul Renner to endorse President Donald Trump.”

— Florida House Speaker Paul Renner: “There is no greater Governor in America than Ron DeSantis. I am proud to have fought alongside him to achieve major policy victories, and I look forward to his continued leadership for our great state of Florida and our country. The 2024 presidential election will be one of the most consequential in our lifetime.

“Do we continue on the path toward an economic recession and failed foreign policies under President Joe Biden, or do we take back control of our nation under the Republican values that have made our country the envy of the world? It’s time for us to unite and support Donald J. Trump as our nominee for President of the United States.”

— State Sen. Lori Berman, a Boynton Beach Democrat: “This shows that the culture war agenda is extremely unpopular. It is time for the Governor to focus on helping Floridians. We have an affordability crisis and need leadership, not divisiveness.”

— State Sen. Jay Collins, a Tampa Republican: “I am extremely proud of Ron DeSantis and his family. They put themselves in the arena to serve, and displayed the courage, candor and commitment to fight. He has stayed the course and put countless Conservative wins on the board — and we’re not done yet.”

— State Sen. Nick DiCeglie, a St. Petersburg Republican: “The American people deserve a President who will put the American people first. It is time to Unite behind Donald Trump and defeat the devastating Biden Agenda that has left us weaker and less safe. I’m proud to endorse Donald Trump for President because he will put our economy back on a path to prosperity, he’ll close the Southern Border, and he will once again put America First!”

— State Sen. Joe Gruters, a Sarasota Republican: “Thankful that we can come together and unite behind President Trump and our efforts to Make America Great Again.”

— State Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, a Spring Hill Republican: “For years, I’ve had a front-row seat watching America’s Governor Ron DeSantis remake both Florida’s political and policy landscape. Nobody has been more transformational in doing so. Ron DeSantis is a national leader when it comes to cutting taxes, creating jobs, stopping illegal immigration, protecting our children, and protecting our freedoms and our elections.”

“Although this is not his time, I have all the confidence in his ability and his passion to continue fighting not only for Floridians, but for the greatness that is the United States of America. Our country is in crisis — rampant inflation, lower wages, a disastrous crisis at the border and numerous foreign policy failures. As a party, we must unite behind President Donald J. Trump.”

— State Sen. Shevrin Jones, a Miami Gardens Democrat: “The damage has been done. Gov. DeSantis built his failed presidential campaign on the backs of Blacks, LGBTQIA+ people, immigrants, and he tried to sell it to the American people — they did not want it. Now that he comes back to a state that needs his attention, I hope he plans on tackling the issues that the people of Florida so desperately need help with.”

— State Sen. Jason Pizzo, a Miami Democrat: “I am hoping, for everyone’s sake, he enthusiastically embraces this opportunity to address critical infrastructure, insurance and environmental issues. If he tries to continue to strong-arm the Legislature into ideological nonsense, I trust he shall meet a wall taller than any he promised along the campaign trail.”

— State Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, a Miami Republican: “Gov. DeSantis did the right thing in supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy after suspending his race. As a party, we need to unite behind the candidate who will put our country back on the right path. Gov. DeSantis has done a great job as our Governor and I look forward to our continued success as a state under his leadership.”

— State Rep. Alex Andrade, a Pensacola Republican: Gov. DeSantis’ discernment is why so many people supported him, and I believe he’s exhibiting that discernment with his announcement. What’s best for our party, and in turn what I know to be best for our country, is that the Republican nominee needs to replace the current cabal in the White House.

“DeSantis supporting Trump is a shot in the arm to our chances of doing just that. I agree with Gov. DeSantis and look forward to supporting President Trump in this election.”

— State Rep. Fabián Basabe, a Miami Beach Republican: “Ron DeSantis had the courage to run; but even harder courage to step down. I admire him as the Governor who brought back strong results for our state and endorsed his platform of resiliency and support for law enforcement. I am personally glad to see him walk the hallways in Tallahassee again because there is still so much more to do and I know under his leadership we will accomplish many other things.

“I also salute the great state we both represent and it makes me proud that Florida produced two champions. On with the race, on with the work and onward to victory.”

— State Rep. Anna Eskamani, an Orlando Democrat: “Ron DeSantis, a man who build his entire campaign on attacking & demonizing already marginalized communities, has finally suspended his failing Presidential campaign. As Floridians, we will be stuck (with him) until 2026, so continue to hold him accountable & demand better for FL.”

— State Rep. Ashley Gantt, a Miami Democrat: “While the majority of Americans are excited about DeSantis dropping out of the presidential race, Floridians will have to deal with him for another 2 years. I trust that the substantial funding Florida received from President Biden will be directed towards benefitting our constituents and will not end up on the veto list again for those critical of his presidential campaign.

“It is a pivotal time for Floridians. They need leaders who prioritize their well-being, addressing their needs rather than engaging in divisive political ideologies.”

— State Rep. Alina Garcia, a Miami Republican: “I am very glad Gov. DeSantis decided to endorse Trump. President Trump knows exactly how and what needs to be done from the moment he is re-elected because he has been President. Trump resolved the immigration crisis before and I know he will do it again. He will get our economy back on track and he will keep our country safe.

“Gov. DeSantis is a great Governor. Together we can all work to take back the White House.”

— State Rep. Chip LaMarca, a Lighthouse Point Republican: “I greatly appreciate the opportunity to have a front row seat in the process. My family supported Gov. DeSantis and his family because we know what he’s done for Florida. We have worked together for Floridians, families and collegiate athletes. I thank him for his friendship and leadership. I also look forward to continuing our work to make Florida the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

— State Rep. Rosalind Osgood, a Tamarac Democrat: “The Governor made the best decision for himself and his family. It is my prayer that the 2024 Legislative Session continues to make Florida a place to Live Local, Live Healthy and Live Learning.”

— State Rep. Toby Overdorf, a Palm City Republican: “Gov. DeSantis is the best Governor in the United States. The people have made their choice and it is time for the Republican Party to unite behind President Trump. I fully endorse President Trump and will do everything I can to elect President Trump to another four years.”

— State Rep. Juan Porras, a Miami Republican: “Ron DeSantis, thank you for doing the right thing for our state and the Republican Party and uniting behind Donald Trump. While I disagreed with the timing of his presidential run, Gov. DeSantis has been an excellent Governor for our state and I look forward to continue working with him for the rest of his term. I call on my fellow Members of the Florida Legislature who have not endorsed President Trump to unite behind him and defeat Sleepy Joe!”

— State Rep. Spencer Roach, a North Fort Myers Republican: “I can’t begin to imagine how difficult this decision must have been for Gov. DeSantis. I thank him for his courage in presenting voters with the opportunity to elect a proven conservative fighter with a track record of winning to be our standard bearer, and I am in awe of the tremendous sacrifice made by Casey and their young family.

“While I am certainly disappointed, I am proud to have knocked on doors in a blizzard for Ron DeSantis and would do it again. He will have my continued support as we work together to keep Florida a beacon of freedom for the rest of the nation.”

— Miami-Dade County Commissioner Kevin Marino Cabrera, a Republican and the State Director for the Republican National Committee and Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign: “It’s great to see our party uniting in support of President Donald J. Trump’s re-election. Our country is facing an unprecedented attack from Biden and the radical left. It’s critical that we focus our efforts on taking back the White House and making America Great Again, Again.”

— Miami-Dade County Commissioner Anthony Rodriguez, a Republican: “I have long supported President Trump and his re-election to the White House. I stand with my fellow Republicans who have called for us all to unify in our effort to defeat Biden, re-elect President Trump and restore America.”

— Former U.S. Rep. and Senate candidate Debbie Mucarsel Powell, a Miami Democrat: “Ron DeSantis left Florida in the dust of his presidential campaign, and now he’s crawling back. DeSantis thinks he can turn Florida into a radical, antidemocratic state, but he’s wrong. Just like the nation rejected failed extremists like DeSantis, this November, Florida will too.”

— Former Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a Miami Republican: “Gov. DeSantis ran an admirable campaign and he can hold his head high, but it wasn’t meant to be this cycle. So far, the Republican Primary electorate have made their choice clear and they want to give Donald Trump another chance at the White House.”

— Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried, a former Agriculture Commissioner: “Ron DeSantis’s presidential campaign is a dead, rotten carcass on the side of the road. Florida Democrats have spent the last year making sure that voters from Iowa to New Hampshire and everywhere in between know exactly how Ron has failed the people of Florida.

“His ridiculous obsession with the presidency has had real consequences here, from his refusal to address our property insurance and affordability crises to the effects of his made-up culture wars. Ron’s campaign was dead on arrival. His lack of people skills and political instincts — not to mention complete inability to surround himself with a competent team — finally brought him to the most predictable place we could imagine: a whimper of an ending almost as embarrassing as his failure to launch in May.”

— Former state Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Miami Democrat: “DeSantis’ entire presidential campaign was based on making the rest of the USA like Florida. That was his message and it was totally repudiated by Republicans and independents. Now it’s up to us Floridians to do what the rest of the country just did and get ready for this year’s elections and retire DeSantis’ politics in our state.”

— Former state Rep. and state House candidate Joe Saunders, a Miami Beach Democrat: “After two years of holding Floridians hostage to his brazen political ambition and with a message buoyed (by) nearly $300 million, Ron DeSantis was rejected by 3 out of 4 Iowa voters. It’s time for Tallahassee legislators to divorce DeSantis.”

— Former Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren, a Democrat: Now that Americans have soundly rejected DeSantis’ political stunts and radical ideas, I hope he tries three new things as Governor: helping Floridians, protecting democracy, and upholding the rule of law. I’d also point out that it’s a fitting end to a campaign based on half-truths and head fakes that he misattributed a quote to Churchill.”


This is a developing story and will be updated. Jacob Ogles contributed to this report.

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.


  • rick whitaker

    January 21, 2024 at 4:30 pm

    i can’t believe how well stated nikii fried ‘s statement was. i agree with her 100%

    • The Dude

      January 21, 2024 at 4:35 pm

      It’s been personal with Nikki Fried since she was Ag Commissioner. Her entire time there was spent attacking DeSantis. She was using that job as Ag Commissioner to try and get the Governor job. She got rolled in the primary by Charlie Crist. She is simply too liberal for Red State Florida. She is better suited for Kalifornia, Oregon, New York.

      • Dr. Franklin Waters

        January 22, 2024 at 10:30 am

        “She is simply too liberal for Red State Florida.”

        Florida voted for Obama. Twice. It’s a lot more purple than you think it is.

    • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

      January 21, 2024 at 5:10 pm

      “Relax Your Sphincters Sage Patriots”.
      “SUSPEND” means to “Put It Off For A While”. What this means is that Ron and The Beautiful Casey will still be in The White House for Eight Years.
      Once Don bows out Ron will pick up the campaign again “For The Sage Landslide Win”
      Remember back in high school when your trifalling @55 got “SUSPENDED”? Sure you do. Did you get to come back? Sure you did.
      Now had your trifalling @55 been “EXPELLED” it would have been over. So, America, in review Ron Suspended his campaign and did NOT EXPELL HIS CAMPAIGN He is free to pick it up again tomorrow if he chooses.

      Same thing with Ron’s Sage Campaign. “THE GAMES STILL ON, AMERICA, THE WORD IN THE HERD IS STILL “GO” AMERICA.
      Nothing’s changed. Ron DeSantis will be our next POTUS.
      So remember America, you heard it here first from Earl Pitts American.

      • T Carlson

        January 21, 2024 at 5:34 pm

        Thanks for clearing that up Earl. What are the odds I will be Ron’s VP.
        Thanks again for the great news, T

        • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

          January 21, 2024 at 5:39 pm

          Well my Man Mr. T we are going to appoint that Circle Back girl who was Joe’s first spoksperson ya know …. HA HA just kidding Mr. T you got the job 100%.
          Thanks, EPA

      • JD

        January 22, 2024 at 9:00 am

        SO MUCH LOSING. Loser.

        Remember, never back down.

        Oh, and don’t get caught in a mouse trap.

      • Jay Smif

        January 22, 2024 at 5:55 pm

        Yesterday was hard on you, wasn’t it, Earl? Your cult leader Fat Hitler is going to prison soon, too.

  • Julia

    January 21, 2024 at 4:55 pm

    I ­­­­­­a­­m ­­­­ma­­k­­i­­ng 28­­5­­ Dollars e­­a­­ch­­ h­­o­­u­­r ­­­­f­­o­­r w­­o­­r­­ki­­n­­g­­ ­­­­on­­l­­i­­n­­e. ­­I n­­e­­v­­e­­r ­­­­t­­h­­o­­u­­g­­h­­t ­­­­t­­h­­a­­t ­­­­i­­t ­­­­w­­a­­s ­­­­l­­e­­g­­i­­t­­ b­­u­­t­­­­ ­­m­­y­­ b­­e­­s­­t­­­­ ­­f­­r­­i­­e­­n­­d­­ ­­e­­a­­r­­n­­s ­­­­29,0­­0­­0 d­­o­­l­­l­­a­­r­­s ­­­­ev­­e­­r­­y ­­m­­o­­n­­t­­h ­­d­­­­o­­i­­n­­g t­­h­­i­­s ­­a­­n­­d­­ s­­h­­e vx02 sh­­o­­w­­e­­d ­­m­­e­­ ­­h­­o­­w­.

    Ch­­e­­c­­k­­ It is……………… careersrevenue07.blogspot.com

  • Mark Glaeser

    January 21, 2024 at 4:59 pm

    May I please take the boots off now?

  • My Take

    January 21, 2024 at 5:10 pm

    Normal people will forget him.
    But political historisns won’t.
    An epic failure of a candidate and campaign.

  • Alejandro A

    January 21, 2024 at 5:56 pm

    Jason Pizzo is a Democrat

    • Another one

      January 21, 2024 at 7:08 pm

      Yes – easily verifiable. Please hire an editor!

  • My Take

    January 21, 2024 at 10:21 pm

    I hope Nikki F keeps up her commentary on Rhonda as a governor.

  • Florida Artificial Intelligence 📉

    January 22, 2024 at 3:59 am

    Bridgette Ziegler still won’t sleep with Casey tho

  • My Take

    January 22, 2024 at 7:00 am

    What has Randy Fine said?

  • Ron B Gone

    January 22, 2024 at 8:20 am

    Many thanks to Rhonda and Trump and Trump’s SCOTUS for making everyone hate them enough that Florida’s voters just flipped Florida State House district 35’s seat blue.

    I can’t wait to see all of Rhonda’ hidden expenditures over the last year. Anybody else wants to shine a light on just how much taxpayer dinero Rhonda wasted on his pretend Campaign, make sure you Back the Blue this November!

    Rhonda should resign today from their job as Governor of Florida. If they will just do that one thing, we’ll let bygones by bygones for the sake of saying bye to Rhonda and having them be gone.

    Florida. The Blue Shine State.

    • CR

      January 30, 2024 at 8:34 pm

      Thank God you have no idea what you’re talking about. If that idiot Socialist Gollum from LoR had won in 2018, or, just as bad, that fraud Charlie had won, we would have been a lot more like California (which is a crap hold I’d never wish upon another state.) I travel quite a bit for work, and the utter devastation that I see in California makes me want to fall to my knees and thank a higher power we have him as our governor…

  • PeterH

    January 22, 2024 at 10:20 am

    The electorates in Iowa and Florida are not a microcosm of the USA. Neither Donald Trump nor Ron DeSantis will ever have residency in the White House.

  • Andrew Finn

    January 22, 2024 at 4:55 pm

    Well, well, well — “NEVER BACK DOWN” — Yeah right !!!!!!!! I guess now Donald Trump is going to be the “CANDIDATE SELECT” and old Ronnie Boy is the “CANDIDATE REJECT” for 2024. So much for “America’s Governor” — NYUK – NUYK – NYUK !!!!!! Adios Meatball !!!!!! —- Doesn’t that sound great ? — Ya Gotta Love It !!!!!!

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn