EXCLUSIVE: Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida will chronicle his life in public service in a new book that will publish in late February in what will be seen by political pundits as another step by the conservative champion toward a possible 2024 presidential run.
The autobiography by DeSantis, who was overwhelmingly re-elected three weeks ago to a second four-year term steering the increasingly red Sunshine State, is titled “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival.”
Word of the book, scheduled to be published Feb. 28 by Broadside, the conservative arm of HarperCollins Publishing, was shared first with Fox News Wednesday.
The publishers highlight that the autobiography will cover key moments in DeSantis’ life, from “growing up in a working-class family, playing in the Little League World Series, working his way through Yale University and Harvard Law School, volunteering for the Navy after 9/11 and serving in Iraq.”
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The memoir will also detail his marriage to Casey DeSantis, their children and his wife’s battle with cancer.
Florida’s governor has seen his popularity soar among conservatives across the country the past 2½ years, courtesy of his forceful pushback against coronavirus pandemic restrictions and his aggressive actions as a culture wars warrior targeting the media and corporations.
The publishers note that the book “will center on critical issues that brought [DeSantis] to the center of the debate over the future of our country. He shares his thinking from when he was fighting back against COVID mandates and restrictions, critical race theory, woke corporations” and what they describe as “the partisan legacy media.” They add that the memoir will chronicle what they call “his bold, substantial policy achievements.”
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DeSantis, in a statement, said that “what Florida has done is establish a blueprint for governance that has produced tangible results while serving as a rebuke to the entrenched elites who have driven our nation into the ground. Florida is proof positive that we, the people, are not powerless in the face of these elites.”
Eric Nelson, Broadside’s vice president and editorial director, emphasized that “everyone can see Gov. Ron DeSantis is a gifted leader, and now people will discover he’s also a gifted writer. His book explains how he applies his sense of True North to life and to leadership.”
The book is the second by DeSantis, a former congressman who was narrowly elected governor in 2018. His first book, published in 2011 before his election to Congress, was titled “Dreams From Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the age of Obama.” The book looked at why some conservatives turned to the nation’s founding principles amid then-President Barack Obama’s self-described “transformational change.”
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Writing a book is a rite of passage for many potential and actual presidential candidates. Former Vice President Mike Pence, who’s likely to launch a White House run, is on a nationwide book tour for his new autobiography, “So Help Me God.”
“If You Want Something Done: Leadership Lessons from Bold Women,” the latest book from another potential GOP White House hopeful, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, published in October. Haley served as ambassador to the United Nations during former President Trump’s administration.
And “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love,” a new memoir written by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, another likely Republican presidential contender, is scheduled to publish in late January.
DeSantis for over a year has routinely discounted talk of a 2024 White House run as he stayed focused on his gubernatorial re-election. But he’s become a major force in the GOP as he’s built a political brand that stretches from coast to coast, and political prognosticators view him as a potential presidential contender.
Delivering a keynote address that received multiple standing ovations at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s recent annual leadership meeting, which was seen as the first major GOP 2024 presidential cattle call, the governor repeated his well-used pledge that “we’ve got a lot more to do, and I have only begun to fight.”
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While former President Donald Trump, who launched his third White House run two weeks ago, is considered the clear front-runner in the GOP nomination race, DeSantis has seen his poll numbers in 2024 Republican presidential surveys start to rival Trump’s, and his fundraising prowess matches the former president’s.