Republican Ron DeSantis goes against Trump as he launches US presidential bid

Ron DeSantis, his wife Casey, and their children wave to a crowd of supporters. Credit: AP

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has officially launched his 2024 presidential campaign.

On Wednesday, the 44-year-old Republican revealed his decision in a Federal Election Commission filing before an online conversation with Twitter CEO Elon Musk. DeSantis is an outspoken cultural conservative long seen as former president Donald Trump’s leading rival for the Republican nomination.

DeSantis had initially previewed an audio-only announcement with Musk, to be streamed on the social networking site at 6pm local time (11pm UK time).

Republican Ron DeSantis answers questions from reporters Credit: AP

DeSantis has embraced Trump’s combative style and many of his policies, but casts himself as a younger and more electable version of the former president.

By involving Twitter in his candidacy announcement, he is said to be taking a page out of the playbook that helped turn businessman-TV celebrity Trump into a big political name.

DeSantis has joined the crowded Republican contest to decide whether the party will move on from Trump in 2024 as it attempts to take the White House from current President Joe Biden.

Along with Trump, others competing for leadership include: former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

Former vice president Mike Pence is expected to announce his candidacy in the coming weeks.

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