Governor Ron DeSantis officially launched his re-election campaign on Monday, filing paperwork to open his 2022 gubernatorial account via a statement of candidacy.
DeSantis has made clear that he will seek a second term and that he had roughly $58 million in cash on hand, held through his political committee Friends of Ron DeSantis, as of Sept. 30.
Opening the campaign account will provide another outlet for him to raise money.
During a press conference Monday in Zephyrhills to discuss a special legislative session, DeSantis claimed it was “more of a formality” to open the campaign account.
“We’re not going to be doing really anything in terms of public announcements until after the legislative session”, the Governor said. “But you know, you got to prepare for these things. And so we’re off and doing that.”
DeSantis states he will run on a platform focused on objecting to federal vaccine and mask mandates and an emphasis on school board elections to ensure those educators who support critical race theory-based curriculum do not win seats.
DeSantis will face a single challenger in the Republican primary: Joseph Mercadante, who ran in the 2018 gubernatorial race.
A growing list of 16 Democrats is already campaigning for the chance to challenge DeSantis, including former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, and state Senator Annette Taddeo.
Crist, who served as a Republican Governor of Florida officially flipped his political affiliation in 2012 and is running as a Democrat.
DeSantis is seen as a heavy favorite to win re-election, as Democrats face a steep uphill battle amid reports that the Democratic Governors Association will forego financial assistance for opposition candidates.
Speculation continues to surround DeSantis regarding the possibility of his run for the Presidency in 2024, of which he is seen as an early favorite to unseat Joe Biden, though he says he will not make a decision until much later, wanting to focus on his governorship.