Even though he won in 2018 by a margin of less than 0.5 percentage points, Governor Ron DeSantis governed in his first term with the confidence of someone who had a strong mandate. However, he now has one after winning reelection by a margin of 19 points.
DeSantis is anticipated to continue hammering the cultural themes that have made him a national brand in his second term, especially as he leads a state that has become deeply red, especially after what he called a "victory for the ages" on election night. He has hinted that he wants to curb "woke" banking activities, tighten abortion laws, and remove the requirement that a unanimous jury must find someone guilty of a capital offense.
Considering that DeSantis has stated his support for centralized executive authority, some observers anticipate him to continue enhancing his position's authority.
It's unknown just how long he'll lead the Sunshine State because rumors that he has his sights set on the White House in 2024 are growing. He hasn't openly shown a desire to complete the whole four years.
At a speech in Hillsborough County two days before the election, DeSantis pledged to "fight the woke," which he described as a "mental infection" infecting all facets of society.
To thunderous cheers, he declared, "We will never, ever give in to the awakened mob in the state of Florida." "Where the woke to go to die is in our state,"
The success of DeSantis' candidacy depended on how he handled the outbreak and how he came across as a staunch conservative. His massive victory, according to his backers, should reassure him that his state wholeheartedly supports his strategy.
According to Christian Ziegler, vice chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, "the results of the election are supporting Gov. DeSantis' work, his tone, and his devotion to his ideas, his ideology." We want more of what he's been doing, as demonstrated by this election.
The ensuing cultural concerns
DeSantis has already started the next cultural battle against what he claims is a corporate America that is becoming more and more "woke." He specifically criticizes banks and other financial services providers for allegedly "discriminating" against customers based on their political or religious beliefs.
The impending plans, according to him, would also forbid the state from taking a company's environmental or social impact into account before investing Florida's retirement funds, he claimed during a news conference with incoming Florida House Speaker Paul Renner in the summer.
As he promised throughout the campaign, newly elected governor DeSantis is anticipated to advocate for a six-week abortion ban. To draft recommendations for legislation about affordable housing, his staff met with the incoming Senate president.
The newly elected Democratic leader in the House has stated that she will be wary of any Republican attempts to change the affordable housing program. The Legislature agreed last year to refrain from "sweeping" all of the money from the state's trust fund for affordable housing into other endeavors. Which contentious issue Gov. DeSantis will focus on the next unknown.
Play for power
DeSantis has pushed to increase the authority of his position and might do so in his second term.
He opted for versions of the redistricting maps created by his office that more strongly supported the GOP instead of those created by members of his party. He has sought greater control over agency nominations from the Legislature. He has endorsed his list of candidates in the elections for Florida Senate and school board. In addition, he expanded the use of executive suspensions by dismissing the Hillsborough state attorney, who had signed agreements promising not to pursue transgender people seeking gender-affirming medical care or women seeking abortions.
DeSantis' political power will increase, according to Darryl Paulson, a former University of South Florida political science professor and a lifetime Republican who defected in 2017.
He went out and grabbed authority, and it's a lot of power, which is something many governors haven't done, the speaker claimed. Republicans picked up four more of the state's 28 seats, giving them a 12-seat advantage in Florida and a significant boost in their efforts to flip the U.S. House. This was largely due to the new congressional maps that DeSantis drew.
Paulson claimed that action will have repercussions on DeSantis' ability to gain political capital in the future.
What political duties are owed by those people to the governor when, but for his intervention, they would not have been elected to the seats they would hold going forward on Tuesday?
Plans the governor put on the cutting room floor in previous sessions were exposed in several draft pieces of legislation created by DeSantis' staff and obtained by news organizations. Although it's uncertain if his administration will act on these suggestions, they shed light on his strategy. Several tips the scales of power in the governor's favor.
One proposed law would have broadly given DeSantis more control over state universities, as journalist Jason Garcia previously reported in his Seeking Rents newsletter.
For instance, one section of the comprehensive measure would have transferred the hiring of academics from university presidents to the boards of trustees. DeSantis has appointed a large number of those individuals. The remainder is chosen by a Board of Governors that was primarily established by the governor.
A bill that would have given Governor DeSantis more power to oust state attorneys, superintendents of school districts and members of school boards has been tabled. Passidomo, president of the University of Florida Senate, states that she does not foresee legislation extending the governor's office's authority. For the first time since at least the 20th century, no Democrats will hold any statewide elected offices in Florida after the 2022 election.
Now that she is cancer-free, First Lady Casey DeSantis, the governor's top political and policy advisor, is anticipated to keep playing a very public role. The number of Republican voters in the state has increased by roughly 300,000, a first after years of Democrats boasting higher numbers. However, numerous polls of Republican supporters in Florida have revealed that in the home state of both men, DeSantis is the preferred candidate over Trump.