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)
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"Trump is ready to oust Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and find a new national security adviser before the North Korea meetings in May, multiple sources told CNN Thursday. The move may be delayed because there's no final decision on a replacement, sources say. The timing of an announcement is unclear -- one source said it could come as soon as Friday, though others say that is unlikely."
"Robert S. Mueller III has subpoenaed the Trump Organization to turn over documents, including some related to Russia, according to two people briefed on the matter. The order is the first known time that the special counsel demanded documents directly related to President Trump’s businesses." The subpoena is proof that the investigation will likely drag on "for at least several more months," and also indicates Mueller may be "broadening his investigation to examine the role foreign money may have played in funding Mr. Trump’s political activities."
"Documents marked 'HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL PROCEEDING' for the first time tie President Donald Trump’s flagship holding company to the continuing effort to silence a former adult-film actress who says she had an affair with Mr. Trump. A Trump Organization lawyer, Jill A. Martin, is listed as counsel in an arbitration demand for Essential Consultants LLC, a Delaware company formed by Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and used to pay $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford in exchange for her silence, according to Feb. 22 arbitration documents filed in Orange County, Calif."