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Dexter Filkins on the Rise of Ron DeSantis


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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has shown himself uniquely skilled at attracting attention beyond the borders of his home state. Just this month, DeSantis blocked state funds for the Tampa Bay Rays’ stadium after players voiced support for gun control in the wake of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas. He’s also continuing a fight to punish the Disney corporation for criticizing Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law. An Ivy League-educated anti-élitist firebrand, he is willing to pick a fight with anyone—reporters, health officials, teachers, Mickey Mouse—to grab a headline. DeSantis “practically radiates ambition,” the staff writer Dexter Filkins tells David Remnick. “He sounds like Trump, except that he speaks in complete sentences. . . . He’s very good at staking out a position and pounding the table and saying, I’m not giving in to the liberals in the Northeast.” Yet, despite having been anointed by Donald Trump in his primary election, DeSantis has refused to “kiss the ring,” and many see DeSantis as a possible opponent to Trump in a 2024 Republican primary.



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