DeSantis severs ties with state political committee ahead of expected White House bid

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) severed ties with his state political committee ahead of an expected White House run that could be announced in the upcoming weeks.

The move was necessary for DeSantis to be able to declare a presidential campaign if he chooses to launch one. The committee’s website was updated to list that state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia (R) is the “associated person” with the committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, instead of the Florida governor.

Ingoglia confirmed to The Hill he has taken over serving as the committee’s chairman.

DeSantis has not publicly announced that he’s considering a run, but separating himself from the state committee is one of multiple steps he has taken recently that may hint he is close to launching a bid.

He said on Friday at a press conference marking the end of the Florida legislative session that he will make a decision about the future “relatively soon,” adding “you either gotta put up or shut up.”

This came after he dismissed reports from last month that said he planned to get in the race in May or June. He had, however, hinted earlier this year he would wait at least until the end of Florida’s regular legislative session before deciding whether to run for the presidency.

The Florida legislature has also sent a bill to DeSantis’s desk that would allow him to remain as governor if he runs for president. State law requires officials to resign from their current office to run for another, but the legislation would establish an exception for candidates for president and vice president.

DeSantis has also recently visited several key states in the Republican primary, like New Hampshire and South Carolina, and he made a trip to a few countries throughout the world.

Politico reported DeSantis created the committee in 2018 and raised money through his reelection campaign for governor last year.

But he cannot use the money raised from the committee in a federal election because there are restrictions in place for how much can be donated to a campaign. Florida law does not restrict how much an individual can give to the political committee.

The money could be transferred to a super PAC supporting DeSantis if he is no longer connected to the state committee, according to the outlet.

Ingoglia told The Hill in a statement that he has the “honor” of serving as the chairman of the committee, which will “continue to be a pro-parent, pro-student organization committed to protecting parental rights and advancing the Freedom Agenda.”

He said the country is “at a crossroads,” and he looks forward to helping candidates who are advancing the committee’s mission.

“Change does not come about by standing idly; it requires action. This political committee will put children first, bolster and protect parental rights in education, and it will focus on electing the right candidates fighting to safeguard our kids from woke and divisive material in our classrooms. I look forward to helping get these candidates across the finish line,” Ingoglia said.

The Hill has reached out to a spokesperson for DeSantis for comment.

Updated at 7:54 p.m.

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