Now that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has exited stage left the invisible primary for his seat has begun. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has already hand-selected their candidate, which is causing quite a bit of controversy. On the Republican side of the ledger, however, only one big-time candidate has entered the fray thus far: Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL).
“America needs a new generation of leaders to address the big issues facing the country: alleviating the middle class squeeze and promoting economic opportunity, confronting the significant national security challenges threatening the safety of our people, and reforming the culture of Washington, DC,” Rep. DeSantis said in a statement today announcing his candidacy.“ As a candidate for Senate, I look forward to offering reforms based on limited government principles that will make our country stronger and more prosperous. I see a bright future for Florida and for America and my campaign will be about the ideas and principles that will help us achieve a more perfect union.”
Significantly, his decision to run has already captured the attention—and indeed the support—of the influential Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF).
"We're proud to support Congressman Ron DeSantis for the Senate in Florida,” SCF President Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement on Wednesday. “He's a strong conservative, he has grassroots support, and he can win. If he is elected, he will stand up to the big spenders in both parties and fight to repeal Obamacare, balance the budget, and defend the Constitution. We hope conservatives in Florida and across the country will quickly unite behind DeSantis because we believe he gives us the best chance in this race to elect a principled leader who will fight for our values. We will immediately begin raising money for the DeSantis campaign and plan to do everything we can to help him get his conservative message out and win this important race."
DeSantis, for his part, is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School. He grew up poor, however, and paid for his education by “sweeping floors, collecting trash, moving furniture, parking cars, serving as an electrician’s assistant, and coaching baseball clinics,” according to his official congressional page.
He also still serves in the Navy JAG Corps as an officer—and is a recipient of the Bronze Star.