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Thursday, July 18, 2024

With DeSantis Out of the Race, Floridians Wonder: How Will He Govern Now?

U.S.With DeSantis Out of the Race, Floridians Wonder: How Will He Govern Now?

Forgive Florida voters for feeling a little whiplash.

Gov. Ron DeSantis appeared unstoppable in late 2022. He had just won re-election, thumping his opponent by nearly 20 percentage points in a victory attributed in large part to voters rewarding him for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

But this week, he dropped out of the Republican presidential race after a single contest, in Iowa, where he received a thumping of his own, losing to former President Donald J. Trump by about 30 points.

It was a remarkable flameout for a man who has pushed the boundaries of his executive power to reshape Florida into a cradle of right-wing policies, eliciting strong opinions all around.

“I thought he was going to go all the way,” said Taylor Brame, 24, who moved to Florida in part because she was a fan of Mr. DeSantis’s minimal restrictions during the pandemic.

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