Gov. Ron DeSantis not expected at Conservative Political Action Conference

DeSantis moves toward GOP presidential bid on his own terms

The Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, is returning to Washington for the first time since 2020.

CPAC, which is billed as the largest and most influential gathering of conservatives in the world, begins Wednesday.

Governor Ron DeSantis, who spoke at the event last year has other plans, and former vice president Mike Pence has turned down an invitation.

The Governor is keeping tight-lipped when it comes to a run for the White House.

DeSantis did spend the weekend in South Florida meeting behind closed doors with political donors.

He was among about a half dozen presidential prospects at a Palm Beach retreat, where he unveiled his “Freedom Blueprint.”

The guest list also included Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

DeSantis also plans to release a new book tomorrow called “The Courage to be Free.” He calls it ‘Florida’s blueprint for America’s revival.’

RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel says she expects any 2024 presidential contender to sign a pledge to back the party’s ultimate nominee in order to participate in primary debates.

“We haven’t put the criteria out, but I expect a pledge will be part of it. It was part of 2016, I think it’s kind of a no-brainer, right,” McDaniel said. “If you’re going to be on the Republican National Committee debate stage asking voters to support you, you should say I’m going to support the voters and who they choose as the nominee.”

A CPAC spokesperson says DeSantis is not currently slated to attend this week.

The governor is already scheduled to headline two Republican fundraisers in Texas Saturday.

The next day he’ll speak at a $500-a-head reception for the GOP of Orange County, California.

Donald Trump and Nikki Haley have already announced plans to run for the GOP nomination.

Author Marianna Williamson is the first Democrat to enter the race.

The window for Governor DeSantis to announce his candidacy is shrinking.

Just last week, the RNC announced the first Republican presidential primary debate will be on Aug. 3 in Milwaukee.

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About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.