Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-06) announced Friday he will run for governor.
DeSantis: “As somebody who’s a military officer, Iraq veteran, a proven conservative, and then with the support of the president, I’m in a position to exercise the leadership that can build on the great work that Gov. Rick Scott has done to advance economic opportunity, reform education, and drain the swamp in Tallahassee.” (Fox News)
“DeSantis on Friday morning will file paperwork with state election officials creating both his official campaign and a political committee called Friends of Ron DeSantis. The committee can accept unlimited contributions.” (Politico)
IN THE HOUSE. Democrats have placed DeSantis’s northeast Florida district on their 91-seat battlefield. It leans Republican and backed Trump by 17 points in 2016, but Democrats have a strong challenger in former U.N. Ambassador Nancy Soderberg (D).
On the GOP side, Navy veteran John Ward (R) and state Rep. Fred Costello (R) plan to run. Other could enter, and Republicans aren’t worried about holding the district.
NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers: “The NRCC is confident that this seat will stay in Republican control.” (release)
PUTNAM ON NOTICE. State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s (R) “campaign and his associated political committee raised nearly $1.2 million in December. Overall, since getting in the race he has [raised] $22 million and $16 million cash on hand (campaign plus political committee).” (Politico)
Putnam, DeSantis, and former Rep. Gwen Graham (D) oppose President Trump’s move to expand offshore drilling. (Tampa Bay Times) Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine (D) called the decision “awful and unsurprising.” (release)
Graham called out Scott for failing “to turn over public records surrounding the 14 nursing home deaths at Hollywood Hills during Hurricane Irma.” (release)