Following former President Donald Trump’s Tuesday evening announcement that he would launch a 2024 presidential bid, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis sought to cool speculation on his own ambitions and to direct focus to the upcoming Georgia Senate runoff.
DeSantis cruised to reelection last week, handily defeating Democratic rival Charlie Crist by nearly ten points. Trump-backed Republicans did not fare quite as well and the GOP, though favored to win both chambers of Congress, lost the Senate while the control of the House remains undecided.
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On Wednesday the Florida governor declined to weigh in on the 2024 presidential contest, saying at a press conference: “[W]e just finished this election, people just need to chill out a little bit.”
“We have this Georgia runoff coming, it’s very important for Republicans to win that Georgia runoff,” DeSantis said. “I mean, I know around the country, Florida was kind of the biggest bright spot, it was not so bright in other parts of the country.”
“It was a substandard performance, given the dynamics that are at play,” he claimed.
In Georgia, Trump-backed Republican Herschel Walker faced off against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock for one of the state’s Senate seats. Warnock emerged narrowly ahead but neither cleared the 50% vote threshold necessary to avoid a runoff election and the pair will face a rematch in December.
Unlike in 2020, the Georgia runoff will not decide control of the chamber as the Democrats are already projected to win 50 seats and Vice President Kamala Harris may provide tie-breaking votes.