The Sunshine State is emerging as the eye of the storm in the early battle for the GOP presidential nomination amid growing speculation that multiple Florida Republicans are gearing up for a 2024 bid.
The speculative list of names includes Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), Sens. Marco Rubio (R) and Rick Scott (R), and former President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly hinted at another presidential run.
Ford O’Connell, a Florida-based Republican strategist, told The Hill that it’s “almost guaranteed that a Floridian is going to be the nominee in 2024.”
“Until Donald Trump became a Florida resident, Florida had never had a presidential nominee or VP nominee in the history of the state,” O’Connell said.
“It’s gone from being an important battleground to literally the center of the universe for the Republican Party.”
Despite the speculation, Scott has said that he’s planning on running for reelection in 2024, while DeSantis has said that he’s focused on winning a second term in the governor’s mansion this year.
Still, there have been multiple reports of the growing tension between Trump and DeSantis, stemming from the fact that the governor’s declined to say publicly if he would run for president if Trump does. His omission is conspicuous given that several other would-be contenders have said they would support the former president if he makes another bid in 2024 — including Rubio and Scott.
“I wonder why the guy won’t say he won’t run against me,” Trump reportedly said of DeSantis.
“There’s the old saying that every senator sees himself as a future president,” one Republican strategist said.
“I think that’s doubly true for any Republican in Florida right now. There are just a lot of really strong personalities that are in the mix.”