Ron DeSantis was re-elected Governor of Florida and is strengthened within the Republican Party

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The Republican prevailed by a clear margin and is ratified as Donald Trump's internal rival, if the former president finally decides to compete again for the White House

Ron DeSantis was re-elected governor of Florida and is becoming stronger within the Republican Party< /p>The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, was re-elected

The Governor of Florida, the Republican Ron DeSantis, was re-elected to his post by a wide margin, defeating Democratic candidate Val Demings. Thus, DeSantis consolidates himself as a possible Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential elections.

DeSantis started as a favorite to prevail over his opponent, Democrat Charlie Crist, and according to the first projections it takes just over 73% of votes counted almost 15 percentage points (57% out of 42%)

DeSantis' victory continues a shift to the right in what was the nation's biggest swing state, as voters embraced a governor who reveled in culture war politics and framed his candidacy as a battle against “ woke agenda” of the liberals.

In the run-up to the election, DeSantis used the power of his office to bring the media together, often at short notice and far from major markets, for press conferences in which he spent a great deal of time honing criticism of the Democratic President Joe Biden to liberal politics and the mainstream media, to cheering crowds.

He gained significant national attention during the start of the coronavirus pandemic thanks to his outspoken opposition to continued lockdowns and vaccination and mask mandates, and over time demonstrated an eagerness to wade into almost any cultural divide, including immigration, gender, education and more.

His relentless combative stance, and his ability to harness the power of state government at will, endeared DeSantis to major GOP donors and made him a natural heir to the former president Donald Trump in the minds of some Republican voters.

Weeks before the election, DeSantis ordered the state to airlift groups of migrants from Texas to the exclusive liberal enclave of Martha’s Vineyard, as a protest against the immigration policies of the federal government on the southern border. DeSantis called the move a way to make immigration a “front-line issue” ahead of the midterm elections, and his critics questioned the legality of the flights, accusing officials of lying to passengers. /p>

Election Day came as Florida continued to recover from Category 4 Hurricane Ian, which hit the state in late September, killing more than 100 people and causing widespread damage.

Politically, the storm provided DeSantis with a platform to cast a unifying tone in the campaign's final stretch, showing his ability to cast aside the role of culture warrior and become a competent crisis manager. b>The response brought DeSantis and Biden together in southwest Florida as they both surveyed damage, met with locals and briefed reporters, with DeSantis saying at one point, “we appreciate the team effort.”

< p class="paragraph">The victory is sure to fuel speculation about a possible presidential candidacyby DeSantis. So far, DeSantis has dodged questions about his possible Washington aspirations, dodging the issue repeatedly during his only gubernatorial debate with Crist in late October. Trump, who takes credit for propelling DeSantis to a first term as governor, has grown frustrated with DeSantis' refusal to rule out a 2024 run, according to people familiar with Trump's thinking.

The governor was able to raise far more money than Crist, a 66-year-old Democrat who had previously been Florida's Republican governor from 2007 to 2011. Crist aimed his candidacy at moderate Florida voters, decrying DeSantis as a bully, while seeking reverse a losing streak for Democrats in the state. Crist gave up a congressional seat to run for governor this year.

The Democrats, the minority party in state government, faced considerable challenges in a state that was recently considered a perennial political battleground but has drifted to the right. Trump has won the state twice and Republicans have been aggressive in organizing locally and have made a sustained push in voter registration.

Last year, in a significant milestone , the GOP outscored more registered voters in the state than Democrats for the first time in modern history, and then continued to widen the gap in November.

Some Democrats have admitted that past efforts Organizing and registration efforts in Florida had focused primarily on presidential races, and there were concerns that the party's big donors and national wing might cede the state after recent losses and DeSantis's rising popularity.

< p class="paragraph">The Democratic Governors Association has bristled at that characterization, saying it sees Florida as a competitive battleground. The organization has spent $685,000 to help elect Crist, a spokesman said.

With information from AP