Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has not yet announced that he’s running for the GOP presidential nomination, but some of his former House colleagues are hoping he jumps in — even though they say he was “a bit of a loner.”
NBC News’ Scott Wong spoke to more than a dozen House Republicans about DeSantis’ six-year stint in Congress, and they described DeSantis as a quiet and standoffish colleague. But they praised his work as governor, and hope he runs for the White House.
That includes moderate Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., who represents a district President Joe Biden would have won in 2020 had the new congressional lines been in place.
“So he’s winning swing voters, Democrat voters. That’s what we need at the top, because that’s what it takes to win the presidency,” Bacon said of DeSantis. “And we’ve got to have someone who can win suburbs and vie for the middle.”
Former President Donald Trump’s campaign and a pro-Trump PAC are also preparing for a DeSantis run, prepping an “expansive opposition research file” on the Florida governor, Politico reports. The Trump PAC is focusing on DeSantis’ record as an assistant U.S. Attorney.
In other campaign news:
Heading to Dallas: Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is meeting next month with donors in Dallas, Texas, stoking speculation that Youngkin is weighing a presidential run, the Washington Post reports.
No thanks: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., ruled out a presidential bid in 2024, telling radio host Hugh Hewitt, “I don’t have any plans to run for anything this year because, you know, timing is everything in life and we’ve got a lot of stuff going on.”
Will he?: The Daily Beast reports that former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke isn’t ruling out a Senate bid against Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.
Won’t he?: Politico writes about Pennsylvania Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano’s super fans who want to see him run for Senate this cycle.
No backup plan: If Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., doesn’t run for re-election, Democrats don’t have any other potential candidates who could win the ruby-red state, campaign strategists tell National Journal.
Debate dust up: Chicago mayoral hopefuls Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson went on the defensive during Tuesday’s debate about previous comments that have dogged their campaigns — Johnson’s comments about the “defund the police” movement and Vallas’ statement about freeing up police officers from policies that were “handcuffing” them, per The Chicago Tribune.
Santos signaling: New York Republican Rep. George Santos filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission saying he’ll run again, meeting the FEC’s deadline to announce or disavow his previous fundraising (but the filing isn’t an absolute declaration he’ll run again).
Harris heads to Iowa: Vice President Kamala Harris travels to Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday for a reproductive rights event, per NBC News’ Peter Alexander.