134 Facts About Ron DeSantis


Ronald Dion DeSantis is an American politician and former military officer serving as the 46th governor of Florida since 2019.


Ron DeSantis graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School.


Ron DeSantis joined the United States Navy in 2004 and was promoted to lieutenant before serving as a legal advisor to SEAL Team One.


Ron DeSantis was stationed at Joint Task Force Guantanamo in 2006, and was deployed to Iraq in 2007.


When he returned to the US about eight months later, the US Department of Justice appointed Ron DeSantis to serve as a Special Assistant US attorney at the US Attorney's Office in the Middle District of Florida, a position he held until his honorable discharge from active military duty in 2010.


Ron DeSantis was first elected to Congress in 2012, and was reelected in 2014 and 2016.


Ron DeSantis briefly ran for US Senate in 2016, but withdrew when incumbent senator Marco Rubio sought reelection.

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In May 2021, Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that prohibited businesses, schools, cruise ships, and government entities from requiring proof of vaccination.


Ron DeSantis cut state-government spending, which, combined with federal stimulus payments and high sales-tax revenue, led to the largest budget surplus in Florida history.


Ron DeSantis engaged in recovery efforts after Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole, and oversaw the passage of the controversial Parental Rights in Education Act.


Ron DeSantis is Italian American; all of his great-grandparents were born in Southern Italy, and emigrated to the United States during the Italian diaspora.


Ron DeSantis's parents and grandparents were born and grew up in western Pennsylvania and northeast Ohio.


Ron DeSantis's mother worked as a nurse and his father installed Nielsen TV-rating boxes.


Ron DeSantis's only sibling, younger sister Christina Marie DeSantis, was born in Orlando and died in 2015 at age 30 from a pulmonary embolism.


Ron DeSantis was a member of the Dunedin National team that made it to the 1991 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.


Ron DeSantis attended Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School and Dunedin High School, graduating in 1997.


Ron DeSantis was captain of Yale's varsity baseball team and joined the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.


Ron DeSantis was an outfielder on that team; as a senior in 2001, he had the team's best batting average at.


In 2004, during his second year at Harvard Law, Ron DeSantis was commissioned as an officer in the US Navy and assigned to the Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps.


Ron DeSantis was promoted from lieutenant, junior grade to lieutenant in 2006.


Mansur Ahmad Saad al-Dayfi, who was held at Guantanamo, alleged in 2023 that Ron DeSantis oversaw force-feedings of detainees.


In 2007, DeSantis reported to the Naval Special Warfare Command Group in Coronado, California, where he was assigned as a legal adviser to SEAL Team One; he deployed to Iraq in the fall of 2007 as part of the 2007 troop surge.


Ron DeSantis served as legal adviser to Dane Thorleifson, the SEAL Commander of the Special Operations Task Force-West in Fallujah.


Ron DeSantis returned to the US in April 2008, reassigned to the Naval Region Southeast Legal Service.


Ron DeSantis was assigned as a trial defense counsel until his honorable discharge from active duty in February 2010.

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Ron DeSantis concurrently accepted a reserve commission as a lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General's Corps of the US Navy Reserve.


Ron DeSantis was still serving in the US Navy Reserve as of his transition to the governorship.


Ron DeSantis defeated six candidates in the 2012 Republican primary for Florida's 6th congressional district, and defeated Democratic nominee Heather Beaven in the general election.


In May 2015, Ron DeSantis announced his candidacy for the 2016 United States Senate election in Florida.


Ron DeSantis ran for the seat held by Marco Rubio, who initially did not file to run for reelection due to his 2016 presidential campaign.


Ron DeSantis was endorsed by the fiscally conservative Club for Growth.


When Rubio ended his presidential bid and ran for reelection to the Senate, Ron DeSantis withdrew from the Senate race and ran for reelection to the House.


Ron DeSantis signed a 2013 "No Climate Tax Pledge" against any tax hikes to fight global warming.


Ron DeSantis introduced a bill in 2014 that would have required the Justice Department to report to Congress whenever any federal agency refrains from enforcing laws.


In 2015, Ron DeSantis was a founding member of the Freedom Caucus, a group of congressional conservatives and libertarians.


Ron DeSantis opposes gun control, and received an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association.


Ron DeSantis was a critic of Obama's immigration policies, including deferred action legislation, accusing Obama of failing to enforce immigration laws.


Ron DeSantis encouraged Florida sheriffs to cooperate with the federal government on immigration-related issues.


In 2016, Ron DeSantis introduced the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity Act, which would have allowed states to create their own accreditation systems.


Ron DeSantis said this legislation would give students "access to federal loan money to put towards non-traditional educational opportunities, such as online learning courses, vocational schools, and apprenticeships in skilled trades".


In 2016, Ron DeSantis received a "0" rating from the Human Rights Campaign on LGBT-related legislation.


Ron DeSantis was present before the June 2017 congressional baseball shooting, and the perpetrator asked him whether the players were Republicans.


Ron DeSantis said that the May 17,2017, order that initiated the probe "didn't identify a crime to be investigated" and was likely to start a fishing expedition.


Ron DeSantis served three terms in the House of Representatives, retiring in 2018 to run for governor.


Ron DeSantis served on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Judiciary Committee, and the Republican Study Committee, along with several subcommittees of those.

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Ron DeSantis has said that the debate over how to reduce the federal deficit should shift emphasis from tax increases to curtailing spending and triggering economic growth.


Ron DeSantis has supported a "no budget, no pay" policy for Congress to encourage the passage of a budget resolution.


Ron DeSantis endorsed the REINS Act, which would have required that regulations significantly affecting the economy be subject to a vote of Congress before taking effect.


Ron DeSantis has supported the idea of auditing the Federal Reserve System.


Ron DeSantis called for IRS commissioner John Koskinen's resignation for having "failed the American people by frustrating Congress's attempts to ascertain the truth" about alleged IRS targeting of conservatives.


Ron DeSantis co-sponsored a bill to impeach Koskinen for violating the public's trust.


Ron DeSantis criticized IRS employee Lois Lerner and asked that she testify in front of Congress.


Ron DeSantis is a past supporter of eliminating the federal income tax and the IRS, and co-sponsored legislation to replace them with a national sales tax called the FairTax.


Ron DeSantis sponsored the Transportation Empowerment Act, which would have transferred much of the responsibility for transportation projects to the states and sharply reduce the federal gas tax.


Ron DeSantis has opposed legislation to require online retailers to collect and pay state sales tax.


Ron DeSantis voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, saying the bill would bring a "dramatically lower tax rate", "full expensing of capital investments", and more jobs to America.


Ron DeSantis opted not to receive his congressional pension, and filed a measure that would eliminate pensions for members of Congress.


On January 5,2018, Ron DeSantis filed to run for governor of Florida to succeed term-limited Republican incumbent Rick Scott.


Ron DeSantis supported a law mandating the use of E-Verify by businesses and a state-level ban on sanctuary city protections for undocumented immigrants.


Ron DeSantis promised to stop the spread of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee.


Ron DeSantis expressed support for a state constitutional amendment to require a supermajority vote for any tax increases.


Ron DeSantis said he would implement a medical cannabis program, while opposing the legalization of recreational cannabis.


The day after his primary win, in a televised Fox News interview, Ron DeSantis said, "The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state".


On election night, initial results had Ron DeSantis winning, and so Gillum conceded.


In September 2021, Ron DeSantis announced he would run for reelection.

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Ron DeSantis responded, "the only worn-out old donkey I'm looking to put out to pastures is Charlie Crist".


Ron DeSantis mentioned that Crist promised in his 2006 gubernatorial campaign that he would not raise taxes, but when elected signed a large increase in taxes and fees.


Ron DeSantis criticized Crist's role as US representative, saying that during 2022, Crist showed up for work for only 14 days.


Ron DeSantis won the November 8 election in a landslide, with 59.4 percent of the vote to Crist's 40 percent; it was the largest margin of victory in a Florida gubernatorial election since 1982.


Significantly, DeSantis won Miami-Dade County, which had been a Democratic stronghold since 2002, and Palm Beach County, which had not voted Republican since 1986.


Crist conceded the election shortly after Ron DeSantis was projected as the winner.


Ron DeSantis prefiled the oath of office with the Florida secretary of state and became governor on January 8,2019.


In January 2019, Ron DeSantis officially suspended Broward County sheriff Scott Israel ostensibly for his responses to the mass shootings at the Fort Lauderdale airport, where a Broward deputy disarmed the murderer 85 seconds after the shooting began, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, appointing Gregory Tony to replace Israel.


In January 2019, Ron DeSantis signed an executive order calling for the end of Common Core in Florida.


Ron DeSantis competed with similar entreaties from Tennessee and Georgia.


Ron DeSantis won, with the main festivities of the RNC, including Trump's keynote speech, relocated to Jacksonville.


In March 2023, fact-checkers at PolitiFact said it would be misleading and mostly false to say in present tense that Ron DeSantis wants to raise the retirement age to 70, because he has walked back that position he took ten years earlier.


Ron DeSantis lifted restrictions earlier than most other state governors, but implemented measures to protect the elderly.


Ron DeSantis managed to avoid the dire consequences many predicted; Florida's death rate was near the national average, and the state's economy fared better than many others.


Ron DeSantis got vaccinated for COVID-19, and expressed enthusiasm for people getting vaccinated, but has opposed requiring it.


Ron DeSantis urged public health officials in Florida cities to focus less on universal COVID-19 testing and more on testing people experiencing symptoms.


That same month, the Biden administration mulled imposing travel restrictions on Florida and other domestic locations to prevent further spread of COVID-19, and Ron DeSantis pledged to oppose any effort "to shut FL's border".


Ron DeSantis denied the alleged favoritism, defended his handling of the rollout, and pointed toward many vaccines distributed in underserved communities.


In May 2021, Ron DeSantis rescinded the state of emergency and all COVID-19-related public health orders, statewide.


Ron DeSantis disputed President Joe Biden's assertion that Florida was not doing enough to combat the pandemic.

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Ron DeSantis argued that Biden was allowing COVID transmission across the southern US border.


Ron DeSantis continued to take COVID-related actions during the rest of 2021, including penalizing local government vaccine mandates, appointing like-minded physician Joseph Ladapo as Florida's surgeon general, and recruiting out-of-state police officers to relocate and work in Florida, including officers who sought to avoid vaccine requirements in their home states.


In November 2021, Ron DeSantis signed into law a legislative package that made Florida the first state to impose fines on businesses and hospitals that require COVID-19 vaccination without exemptions or alternatives.


In June 2022, Ron DeSantis decided against ordering COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5, making Florida the only state not to preorder vaccines for that demographic.


In January 2023, Ron DeSantis announced a proposal to permanently ban COVID-19 mandates in Florida.


On September 14,2021, Ron DeSantis announced that Florida would replace the Florida Standards Assessment test with a system of smaller tests scattered throughout the year.


Ron DeSantis said there would be three tests, in the fall, winter and spring, each smaller than the FSA.


In March 2021, Ron DeSantis proposed legislation to impose restrictions and stricter requirements for Florida universities to collaborate with Chinese academics and universities; he said this would crack down on economic espionage by China.


In June 2021, Ron DeSantis led an effort to ban the teaching of critical race theory in Florida public schools.


Ron DeSantis described critical race theory as "teaching kids to hate their country", mirroring a similar push by conservatives nationally.


On December 15,2021, DeSantis announced a new bill, the Stop Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Act, which would allow parents to sue school districts that teach critical race theory.


On June 1,2021, Ron DeSantis signed the Fairness in Women's Sports Act.


Ron DeSantis said it was "entirely inappropriate" for teachers and school administrators to talk to students about their gender identity.


Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law on March 28,2022, and it took effect on July 1.


Ron DeSantis threatened during a press confrence to build a new state prison near the Disney World complex.


Ron DeSantis has maintained Florida's low-tax status during his time as governor.


In June 2019, Ron DeSantis signed a $91.1 billion budget the legislature passed the previous month, which was the largest in state history at the time, though he cut $131 million in appropriations.


Ron DeSantis partially blamed his gubernatorial predecessor, Rick Scott, for leaving behind a dejected unemployment system that created backlogs as COVID-19 damaged the state economy.


In December 2020, Ron DeSantis ordered the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to extend unemployment waivers until February 27,2021.


Ron DeSantis's administration allocated $12 million for relocating migrants to other states.

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In September 2022, after similar actions by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, an agent of Ron DeSantis recruited 50 newly arrived asylum seekers, mostly from Venezuela, in San Antonio, Texas, and flew them via two chartered planes to the Crestview, Florida airport, where they did not debark, then proceeded to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.


In September 2022, Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for all of Florida as Ian approached and asked for federal aid ahead of time.


Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law on April 14,2023.


Ron DeSantis disagreed with legislation Governor Rick Scott signed that banned bump stocks, added a mandatory three-day waiting period for gun purchases, and raised the legal age for purchases from 18 to 21.


Ron DeSantis has expressed support for measures to improve federal background checks for purchasing firearms and has said that there is a need to intervene with those who exhibit warning signs of committing violence instead of waiting until a crime has been committed.


In November 2020, Ron DeSantis proposed an "anti-mob" extension to the preexisting stand-your-ground law in Florida that would allow gun-owning residents to use deadly force on people they believe are looting.


Ron DeSantis opposes efforts to defund the police, and as governor has introduced initiatives to "fund the police".


Ron DeSantis had argued for this legislation by citing the George Floyd protests of 2020 and the 2021 United States Capitol attack, although only the former was mentioned at the signing ceremony.


On May 5,2021, Ron DeSantis announced that all Florida police officers, firefighters, and paramedics would receive a $1,000 bonus.


On December 2,2021, Ron DeSantis announced that as part of a $100 million funding proposal for the Florida National Guard, $3.5 million would be allocated to the reactivation of the Florida State Guard, a volunteer state defense force that had been inactive since 1947.


Ron DeSantis replaced the entire South Florida Water Management District board.


On July 10,2020, Ron DeSantis announced that Florida would spend $8.6 million out of $166 million received by the state from a legal settlement between Volkswagen and the United States Department of Justice relating to emission violations to add 34 charging stations for electric cars.


On June 16,2021, Ron DeSantis signed into law House Bill 839, which bans local governments in Florida from requiring gas stations to add electric car charging stations.


On June 21,2021, Ron DeSantis signed into law House Bill 919, which prohibits local governments from placing bans or restrictions on any source of electricity.


Ron DeSantis expressed support for the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative after it passed in November 2018, saying he was "obligated to faithfully implement [it] as it is defined" when he became governor.


In June 2019, Ron DeSantis signed a measure that would make it harder to launch successful ballot initiatives.


Ron DeSantis instructed Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody to investigate whether Michael Bloomberg had criminally offered incentives for felons to vote by assisting in a fundraising effort to pay off their financial obligations so they could vote in the 2020 presidential election in Florida.


In February 2021, Ron DeSantis announced his support for several election law restrictions.


Ron DeSantis called for eliminating ballot drop boxes and limiting voting by mail by requiring that voters re-register every year to vote by mail and that signatures on mail-in ballots "match the most recent signature on file".


On February 2,2021, Ron DeSantis announced support for legislation to crack down on Big Tech and prevent alleged political censorship.

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In 2022, Ron DeSantis criticized the life sentence jurors imposed on the Parkland high school shooter, as opposed to the death penalty.


In May 2023, DeSantis signed a law allowing those convicted of raping a child under 12 years old to receive the death penalty, defying and setting up a "challenge" to the Supreme Court decision Kennedy v Louisiana.


Various notable people have urged Ron DeSantis to run for president in the 2024 election.


Since 2022, Ron DeSantis has been increasingly seen as a contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.


Ron DeSantis met his wife, Casey Black, on a golf course at the University of North Florida.


Ron DeSantis had been a television host for the Golf Channel, and then a television journalist and news anchor at WJXT.


Ron DeSantis is a Roman Catholic, and the marriage was officiated by a Catholic priest.


Ron DeSantis is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.


In 2022, Ron DeSantis appeared on the Time 100, Time's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.