Ronald Dion DeSantis born September 14, 1978 is an American politician, former Navy attorney, and author serving as the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 6th congressional district, elected in 2012. He is a Republican and was educated at Harvard and Yale.
He ran in Florida’s 2016 U.S. Senate election but withdrew when incumbent Senator Marco Rubio announced he would seek reelection. DeSantis opted to run for re-election to his U.S. House seat. Described as a “top Trump ally”, DeSantis came to greater prominence in 2017 for his frequent attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.On August 28, 2018, DeSantis won the Republican primary for Governor of Florida in the 2018 election.
On January 5, 2018, DeSantis announced his candidacy for Governor of Florida that year to succeed term limited Republican incumbent Rick Scott. President Donald Trump stated in December 2017 that he would support DeSantis should he run for Governor. During the Republican primary, DeSantis emphasized his support for Trump, for example running an ad where DeSantis taught his children how to “build the wall” and say “Make America Great Again”, as well as dress his children in a tiny red “Make America Great Again” jumper. Asked if he could name an issue where he disagreed with Trump, DeSantis did not name a single issue. The New York Times wrote on July 30, 2018 that the relative success of DeSantis in the primary against Putnam demonstrated both Trump’s kingmaking capacity but also a “broader nationalization of conservative politics” wherein “a willingness to hurl rhetorical lightning bolts at the left, the media and special counsel Robert S. Mueller can override local credentials, local endorsements and preparedness for a state-based job.”On August 28, 2018, DeSantis won the Republican Primary.
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DeSantis has sharply criticized the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for the Veterans Health Administration scandal of 2014, in which veteran deaths were linked to fatal wait times. He co-sponsored the VA Accountability Act, which aims to increase accountability by providing for the removal or demotion of employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs based on performance or misconduct. He is a member of the Post-9/11 Veterans Caucus.
As of August 2018, DeSantis had not taken a position on a November 2018 ballot initiative on the restoration of voting rights for felons.
In 2010, DeSantis, who is of Italian descent, married Casey DeSantis, a local Emmy-winning television host. DeSantis and his wife bought a home in Palm Coast in July, 2016 after redistricting moved their home in Ponte Vedra Beach into the 4th congressional district. DeSantis and his wife have a daughter, Madison, and a son, Mason.