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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"As Trump signed a joint statement with Kim Jong Un that offered few details on how the North Korean leader would make good on his vow to denuclearize, Republicans on Capitol Hill said Tuesday that they want and expect the White House to submit any final agreement for their approval." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for any agreement to be in the form of a treaty.
President Trump announced that the United States will suspend "war games" with South Korea, which are "inappropriate" given his meeting with North Korean leader Kim-Jong Un. "We will be stopping the war games which will save us a tremendous amount of money," said Trump, "unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should." The military exercises "carried out each year by the US and South Korean militaries have been consistently cited by Pyongyang as a US rehearsal for war, and a reason it needs to build a nuclear arsenal."
President Trump "heaped praise on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, calling him 'a very worthy, very smart negotiator' and vowing to meet with him 'many times.' Speaking to reporters in Singapore after his landmark summit with Kim, Trump said that he found the North Korean premier to be a 'very talented man' who 'loves his country very much.'"