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Ron DeSantis speaks at Butler County Lincoln Day Dinner, tests campaign waters

Ron DeSantis in West Chester
Posted at 11:07 PM, Apr 13, 2023

WEST CHESTER, Ohio — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited West Chester as part of a national tour to promote his book and possibly test the campaign waters.

DeSantis was the Butler County Republican Party's special guest at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner Thursday night. While he hasn't formally announced his candidacy, the 44-year-old touted his work as governor.

"I believe most Americans think this country is going in the wrong direction — most are pessimistic about the future, but I'm here to tell you what we've shown in Florida is that decline is a choice," DeSantis said. "Success is attainable and freedom is worth fighting for."

During his speech, the 44-year-old addressed what he called "woke ideology," mentioning his fight with media and entertainment giant Disney, which stripped power from the board he appointed to oversee its theme park after it publicly opposed Florida's "Don't Say Gay" legislation.

DeSantis said he and the Florida GOP "never, ever surrender to the woke mob; our state is where woke comes to die."

While DeSantis was in Ohio, lawmakers in Florida worked to pass a six-week abortion ban that he has expressed support for. Ohio Democrats say his agenda — particularly when it comes to abortion and the LGBTQ+ community — is extremely problematic.

"DeSantis' formula of pulling stunts for political gain, dismantling public education, engaging in hateful culture war policies, and a high cost of housing ... Butler County's working families cannot afford a Ron DeSantis presidency," said Kathy Wyenandt, Butler County Democratic Party Chair.

The Associated Press reports DeSantis is expected to announce his candidacy in May. The latest polling has former president Donald Trump leading DeSantis and all other Republican candidates with about 49% of the vote.

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