After ending his bid for the U.S. Senate at the end of June, Congressman Ron DeSantis is in strong shape in the Republican primary later this month.
When Marco Rubio announced at the last minute that he would run for a second term in the Senate, DeSantis ended his Senate bid and decided to seek a third term in the House. While most of the Republicans who had been running for DeSantis’ seat ended their bids, state Rep. Fred Costello and businessman G.G. Galloway remained in the race.
Since deciding to run for another term, DeSantis has pulled out all the stops. Over the weekend, the St. Augustine Record noted that the congressman moved to Flagler County, away from the Jacksonville suburbs which had been his base before his district was pushed south in the latest round of redistricting.
DeSantis has also been reeling in some major endorsements including winning the support of former UN Amb. John Bolton, conservative media personality Mark Levin, the American
Conservative Union (ACU) and the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB).
At the end of last week, DeSantis announced that the National Rifle Association (NRA) was also backing his reelection. DeSantis has earned an “A” grade from the NRA.
“I’m proud to be recognized as a strong defender of the rights of law-abiding citizens and appreciate the support of the NRA for my campaign,” DeSantis said on Friday. “I will continue to stand with Florida's gun owners and sportsmen and to defend our constitutional rights.”
As the primary reaches its final phase, DeSantis appears to have a strong chance of winning. DeSantis won a Republican primary back in 2012, taking 39 percent while Costello placed a distant second with 23 percent.
While DeSantis is ignoring them, Costello and Galloway are throwing jabs his way.
“77 percent of your fellow voters want a congressman who is focused more on the district he serves than building a national reputation,” Costello insisted last month. “And 69 percent want him to live in the district he serves. As a career dentist and citizen legislator, I am the only candidate with a record of standing up for you as mayor of Ormond Beach and as a Florida state representative. Unlike the incumbent, I am not running for Congress because I could not win the Senate race and I am not using Congress as a stepping stone to higher office in 2018. I will serve in Congress for 8 years if the voters of District 6 choose to support me.”
Galloway also went after DeSantis last month.
“My competition has millions of dollars in his bank account, so me and my team have been walking street to street getting our message out,” Galloway noted. “We're hearing a lot of people who are upset with our current politicians. They don't return phone calls, letters or help locals deal with our federal government. It's time we have a congressman that focuses on his district and its' people not the next office he's running for.”