Last updated on: 1/22/2024 | Author:

Ron DeSantis Biography

Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida


Candidacy announced: May 24, 2023

Federal Election Committee (FEC) financial data

Ron DeSantis
Source: Office of the Governor of Florida

Personal Life

Full Name: Ronald Dion DeSantis

Birthdate: Sep. 14, 1978

Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida

Marital Status: married to Casey Black, TV reporter and local news anchor


  • Madison, born in 2016
  • Mason, born in 2018
  • Mamie, born in 2020

Religion: Catholic

Pets: none found

Career, Education, & Publications

Career Highlights:

  • Governor, Florida, Jan. 8, 2019-present
  • Representative, U.S. Congress, Jan. 3, 2013-Sep. 10, 2018
  • Lieutenant, Judge Advocate General’s Corps U.S. Navy Reserves, Feb. 2010-Feb. 12, 2019
  • Officer – Lieutenant Commander, Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Navy, active duty, 2004-2010


Select Publications:

  • The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival, Feb. 2023
  • Dreams from Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the Age of Obama, 2011

Internet & Social Media Presence


  • As governor, DeSantis banned TikTok on Florida government devices.



Positions on the Issues

Should the Use of Private Prisons Continue?


Editors’ Note: DeSantis vetoed two prison funding items in Florida’s 2022-2023 fiscal year budget. He did not veto the private prison funding in the budget.

Source for Editors’ Note: Renzo Downey, “Veto List: Gov. DeSantis Detains $840M in Prison Construction,”, June 2, 2022

Should the U.S. Require Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases?


“With all due respect to these leftists, they just want to come after your Second Amendment rights… You focus on the criminal. You focus on the lunatic. You don’t knee cap the rights of law abiding citizens.”

Editors’ Note: The above comments were made in response to questions about Democratic lawmakers in Florida working to pass a gun control bill that included universal background checks. 

Jason Delgado, “Gov. DeSantis Won’t Reform Florida Gun Laws, Bats down Democrats’ Demand for Special Session,”, June 9, 2022

Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?


“Today [May 1, 2023], Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law his third consecutive anti-crime, pro-public safety legislative package. The bills enacted by the Governor strengthen pre-trial detention and push back against ‘“’bail reform’”’ efforts that have made other states significantly less safe, increase sentences for drug traffickers that target children, and subject child rapists to the death penalty [HB 1297]. Last month, Governor DeSantis also signed legislation that reforms Florida’s death penalty statutes to ensure justice in capital cases [SB 450].”

Editors’ Note: SB 450 eliminates the unanimous jury requirement for death penalty cases and requires only 8 of 12 jurors recommend capital punishment for the penalty to be imposed, which allows for the death penalty in more cases. Seven men have been executed in Florida during DeSantis’s tenure as governor as of Sep. 18, 2023. 

Ron DeSantis, “Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Third Consecutive Anti-Crime, Pro-Public Safety Legislative Package,”, May 1, 2023
Source for Editors’ Note: Death Penalty Information Center, “Execution Database,” (accessed Sep. 18, 2023)

Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal?


“Yeah, I would not legalize. I think what’s happened is this stuff is very potent now. I think it’s a real, real problem and I think it’s a lot different than stuff that people were using 30 or 40 years ago. And I think when kids get on that, I think it causes a lot of problems. And then, of course, you know, they can throw fentanyl in any of this stuff now.” 

Benjamin M. Adams, “Ron DeSantis Confirms He Would Not Legalize Adult Use If Elected President, Warns of Fentanyl-Laced Pot,”, Aug. 30, 2023

Should Public Sector Employees Have the Right to Unionize?


“By signing the Paycheck Protection Act, Florida teachers will be able to choose how their hard-earned money is spent. School unions will no longer be able to hold teachers’ paychecks hostage with veiled threats while hiding where the money goes.”

Editors’ Note: DeSantis has been marked “unclear” by ProCon because SB 256 (the act DeSantis mentions above) is seen as anti-union by teachers unions and others, however DeSantis did not impose the same restrictions on other public sector unions, specifically those representing law enforcement officers, correctional officers, correctional probation officers, or firefighters. 

Ron DeSantis,, May 9, 2023

Should Washington, DC, Be Granted U.S. Statehood?


“‘The left is playing for keeps. If you look at what happens in 2024, if the Democrats are able to sweep all the offices – president, Senate and House – what will they do with that power? They will try to pack the U.S. Supreme Court, they will try to abolish the Electoral College. They will try to make Washington, D.C. a state so they can get two left-wing senators virtually for life. And they will try to eliminate voter ID across the country and mandate ballot harvesting.”

Nikki Schwab, “DeSantis Warns of the Consequences If Republicans Don’t Win the White House in 2024…,”, Apr. 21, 2023

Should the U.S. Become Socialist?


“At a time when Marxism, socialism, and communism are actively promoted by prominent politicians and pop-culture figures in our own country, it is more important than ever to teach Florida’s schoolchildren about the horrific history of Communist countries and to provide them with opportunities to hear from individuals who suffered under the rule of Communist dictators. That is why I established Victims of Communism Day and launched an initiative to record video testimonials of Floridians who suffered under these regimes. When we comprehend the horrors of the past brought about as a result of this evil ideology, we are inspired to defend our nation’s republican government, its free enterprise economy, and its vibrant religious traditions and civil society from the forces which seek its destruction.”

The press release continues: “Victims of Communism Day is an opportunity for students of all ages and Floridians of all backgrounds to learn about the dangers posed by socialism around the world and here at home, as well to reflect upon the blessings of liberty afforded to ourselves and our posterity as a result of the American traditions of limited government and individual freedom.”

Ron DeSantis, “Governor Ron DeSantis Declares First Annual Victims of Communism Day,”, Nov. 7, 2022 

Should the Federal Minimum Wage Be Increased?


“Now is not the time. Ballot Amendment 2 would close small businesses, kill jobs and reduce wages.”

Editors’ Note: Ballot Amendment 2 was approved by 61% of voters and will raise the states’ minimum wage incrementally to $15 an hour in Sep. 2026.

CBS Miami, “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Criticizes Minimum Wage Proposal,”, Oct. 28, 2019
Source for Editors’ Note: David Madland, “Beware Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Anti-Worker Agenda | Opinion,”, Apr. 18, 2023

Should the U.S. Implement a Universal Basic Income (UBI)?

No position as of Oct. 27, 2023.

Should the Federal Government Pay Reparations to the Descendants of Enslaved People?

No position as of Sep. 7, 2023.

Should Public College Be Tuition-Free?


“Florida’s public college and university system is number one in the country because we put students first. Florida’s students deserve a quality, affordable education and don’t need ideological activists and political organizations determining what they should learn. By ushering in strong curriculum transparency requirements and providing accountability for tenured faculty, Florida is standing with students and parents across our state.”

Editors’ Note: All candidates who have stated that college education should be “affordable” or available at lower cost without explicit mention of tuition-free college have been marked “con” to tuition-free college. 

Ron DeSantis, “Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Bill to Reform Higher Education in Florida,”, Apr. 19, 2020

Should Parents or Other Adults Be Able to Ban Books from Schools and Libraries?


“Exposing the ‘book ban’ hoax is important because it reveals that some are attempting to use our schools for indoctrination,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “In Florida, pornographic and inappropriate materials that have been snuck into our classrooms and libraries to sexualize our students violate our state education standards. Florida is the education state and that means providing students with a quality education free from sexualization and harmful materials that are not age appropriate.’

…Governor DeSantis also signed HB 1557, Parental Rights in Education, which reinforced parents’ fundamental rights to make decisions regarding the upbringing of their children. The bill prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through 3rd grade and prohibits instruction that is not age appropriate for students. During the upcoming 2023 Legislative Session, the Governor is in support of legislation which would expand these restrictions through the 8th grade. Additionally in 2022, the Governor signed HB 1467, which requires school districts to be transparent in the selection of instructional materials, including library and reading materials. As a part of the Year of the Parent, this legislation aims to preserve the rights of parents to make decisions about what materials their children are exposed to in school.”

Editors’ Note: DeSantis has stated that “there has not been a single book banned in the state of Florida,” and says book removals are “curation choices that are consistent with state standards.” However, the policies enacted and subsequent removal of books fit the standard definition of “book banning.” 

Office of Ron DeSantis, “Governor Ron DeSantis Debunks Book Ban Hoax,”, Mar. 8, 2023
Source for Editors’ Note: Andrew Demillo, Anthony Izaguirre, and Nicholas Riccardi, “Presidential Hopeful DeSantis Inspires Push to Make Book Bans Easier in Republican-Controlled States,”, May 26, 2023

Should Any Amount of Student Loan Debt Be Eliminated via Forgiveness or Bankruptcy?


“The reality is we’ve had a generation of students go deep into debt and some of them end up with degrees in things like zombie studies, which are just not making a difference….

It’s wrong to say that a truck driver should have to pay off the debt of somebody who got a degree in gender studies. This is not the taxpayers that should have to do that. At the same time, I have sympathy for some of these students because I think they were sold a bill of goods. I think these universities knew that they could take all this federal loan money. And if you’re there for six years, hey that’s more money for them, right? And they do it, and they increase their administrative bloat and they didn’t make the the instruction any better…..

Student loans [for ‘successful degrees’] should be dischargeable in bankruptcy.” 

Ayelet Sheffey, “Ron DeSantis Says He Has ‘Sympathy’ for Some Student-Loan Borrowers — and Wants to Make It Easier for Them to Get Rid of Their Debt in Court,”, Aug. 2, 2023

Should Voters Be Required to Show Photo Identification to Vote?


“Florida took action this legislative session to increase transparency and strengthen the security of our elections. Floridians can rest assured that our state will remain a leader in ballot integrity. Elections should be free and fair, and these changes [Senate Bill 90, which DeSantis signed on May 6, 2021] will ensure this continues to be the case in the Sunshine State.”

Editors’ Note: According to the press release from which DeSantis’ quote is taken: “Senate Bill 90 strengthens existing voter ID laws, bans ballot harvesting, prohibits unsolicited mass mailing of ballots, increases election transparency, and prohibits private money from administering elections. While Florida already requires identification to vote, Senate Bill 90 will require additional identification information when changing any voter registration information, or requesting a vote by mail ballot, preventing fraud and securing the voter rolls.”

Ron DeSantis, “Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Bill to Safeguard the Sanctity of Florida Elections,”, May 6, 2021

Should the Voting Age Be Lowered to 16?

No position as of Sep. 8, 2023.

Should the Federal Government Intervene to Lower Prescription Drugs Costs?


“We’ve moved [in Florida] to hold Big Pharma accountable by shining a light and reining in things like pharmacy benefit managers that cause you to pay more for expensive medication.”

Editors’ Note: DeSantis is referring to Florida’s Prescription Drug Reform Act, which he signed on May 3, 2023. According to the Governor’s office the law will, “require accountability among pharmaceutical middlemen, empower consumers through increased choice among pharmacies, and create transparency in prescription drug price increases.”

Alexandra Glorioso and Nicholas Nehamas, “How DeSantis Is Trying to Lure Older Voters Away From Trump,”, May 22, 2023
Source for Editors’ Note: Ron DeSantis, “Governor DeSantis Signs Most Comprehensive Legislation in Florida History to Increase Accountability and Transparency for Prescription Drug Costs,”, May 3, 2023

Should Abortion Be Legal?


“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida. I applaud the Legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act that expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families.”

Office of Governor Ron DeSantis, “Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Heartbeat Protection Act,”, Apr. 13, 2023

Should the U.S. Continue Constructing a U.S./Mexico Border Wall?


“As president I will put an end to this moral and humanitarian catastrophe by shutting down illegal entries and building the wall, once and for all. There are more than 600 miles of the US-Mexico border without an effective barrier to illegal crossings: I will use every ounce of my executive power and political capital to get the wall built.

We know how to get infrastructure built quickly and cut through red tape. After Hurricane Ian, Pine Island in Florida was completely cut off from the mainland. I ordered the Florida Department of Transportation to assist, and within 24 hours, we had more than 130 trucks rolling in and crews got to work. We didn’t just get it done—we got it done in three days, and emergency personnel were able to get on the island and start rebuilding. If needed, I’ll happily send those same crews to the southern border to get the wall built.” 

Ron DeSantis, “Stop the Invasion: No Excuses,” (accessed Nov. 1, 2023)

Should the U.S. Maintain Birthright Citizenship?


“We will take action to end the idea that the children of illegal aliens are entitled to birthright citizenship if they are born in the United States. Dangling the prize of citizenship to the future offspring of illegal immigrants is a major driver of illegal migration. It is also inconsistent with the original understanding of 14th Amendment, and we will force the courts and Congress to finally address this failed policy.” 

Ron DeSantis, “Mission Stop the Invasion: No Excuses,” (accessed Aug. 31, 2023)

Should the U.S. Government Provide a Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants?


Trump is “attacking me for opposing an amnesty bill. He wanted to amnesty 2 million illegal aliens in 2018 when he was president. I opposed him on that. Because I’m opposed to amnesty.”

Editors’ Note: ProCon is citing Politifact as the source of this quote because the DeSantis campaign removed the following source: The Matt Murphy, May 25, 2023 

Maria Ramirez Uribe, “Donald Trump ‘Wanted to Amnesty 2 Million Illegal Aliens in 2018 When He Was President.,’”, June 5, 2023

Should the Government Regulate Social Media Sites to Protect Kids and Teens?


“Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced his proposal to protect Floridians’ digital rights and privacy from Big Tech companies by creating a Digital Bill of Rights that focuses on protecting Floridians’ privacy, protecting minors from online harms, and eliminating unfair censorship. The proposal also bans the use of TikTok and other social media platforms with ties to China from all state government devices, and through internet services at colleges, universities, and public schools, and prohibits state and local government employees from coordinating with Big Tech companies to censor protected speech.”

Ron DeSantis, “Governor Ron DeSantis Introduces Groundbreaking Legislation to Protect the Digital Rights and Privacy of All Floridians,”, Feb. 15, 2023

Is Artificial Intelligence Good for Society?

No position found as of July 19, 2023.

Editors’ Note: Controversy erupted in early June 2023 over the DeSantis War Room Twitter account posting a video that includes apparent AI-generated images and audio of Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci.