Ron DeSantis to announce 2024 campaign during Elon Musk talk on Twitter Spaces

Republican presidential hopeful will be interviewed live by Twitter's billionaire chief executive

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at a March press conference. AFP
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will announce his 2024 presidential campaign on Wednesday, several news organisations reported, ending months of speculation over when he would join a crowded Republican field.

As things stand, Mr DeSantis is the only Republican with a significant backing apart from former president Donald Trump, who remains the front-runner by a large margin.

NBC News, Fox and other outlets said Mr DeSantis would make his announcement during a live Twitter Spaces interview with the social media platform's chief executive Elon Musk.

The billionaire appeared to confirm this by retweeting a Fox reporter.

However, Mr DeSantis has not yet filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to declare his candidacy.

The event is scheduled to start at 6pm EST.

The governor is currently polling in second place within his party. While he leads several other nomination hopefuls, Mr Trump remains comfortably ahead of the pack, with more than 53 per cent of the Republican vote compared to only 22 per cent for Mr DeSantis, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Mr DeSantis recently travelled abroad to visit US allies, including Israel, calling the country one of America's “most valued and trusted” partners.

He is known for his hard-right policies in the state of Florida, where recently passed legislation has taken aim at black, Latino and LGBTQ communities. Prominent rights groups have advised against travel to the state.

The Florida governor is also spearheading efforts to control the theme parks run by Disney, which has started a legal fight and already caused some financial losses for the tourism-dependent Sunshine State.

When it comes to foreign affairs, Mr DeSantis has a mixed record of traditional Republican and Trump-style isolationist posturing.

Having previously deployed to Iraq during his time as a Navy lawyer, he has been a sharp critic of Iran and has voiced support for the US relationship with its Kurdish regional allies.

As a conservative congressman, he once endorsed arming Ukraine against Russia. But he recently drew criticism for calling Russia's invasion of Ukraine a “territorial dispute” – a comment he later backtracked.

Updated: May 23, 2023, 7:27 PM

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