'Florida is the Utah of the Southeast': DeSantis cozies up to beehive state

'Florida is the Utah of the Southeast': DeSantis cozies up to beehive state
Governor Ron DeSantis Screengrab
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is trying to make some headway against former President Donald Trump in the race for the Republican nomination for president for the 2024 election cycle by making a trip to Utah, during which he reportedly claimed that his home state is "the Utah of the Southeast."

DeSantis, who was recently accused of "public corruption" by a former House GOP colleague, hasn't formally announced his intention to run for president but has been running a pre-run background campaign for some time. Recently, he took a trip to Utah to "lick his wounds" after a poll showed him 13 points behind Trump, Mother Jones reported.

"On Saturday, the Florida governor spoke at the state’s GOP convention, where, amongst pleasantries, promises, and his trademark attacks on wokeness, he declared, 'Florida is the Utah of the Southeast,'" the outlet said that same day. "DeSantis, who has not officially announced his bid for the presidency, was met with cheers and applause by Utah’s GOP delegates during his speech, in which he once again slammed Disney and said Florida would 'eliminate DEI at all our public universities,' 'kneecap ESG' (as he called it, 'woke banking'),— and 'prohibit for minors, gender surgeries and puberty blockers.'"

DeSantis' decision to stop in Utah was a "predictable one," according to Mother Jones, which reported that "Utah elected officials, including Republican lawmakers, signed a letter begging for DeSantis to run for president in 2024."

"While they didn’t mention Donald Trump by name, KSL News reported that the letter appeared to rebuke Trump and the far-right wing of the Republican Party," according to Mother Jones.

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