U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis said Friday that he's running for Florida governor, boosted by an endorsement by President Donald Trump.
"With the support of the president, I'm in a position to exercise the leadership that can build on the great work Rick Scott has done," DeSantis said on Fox News' Fox & Friends this morning.
DeSantis, 39, is a former Navy lawyer who made his name over the last year attacking special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The Palm Coast Republican has made several appearances on Fox News, and on Dec. 22, Trump apparently took notice, tweeting that DeSantis was a "brilliant young leader" who would "make a GREAT Governor of Florida."
DeSantis' run was widely expected.
Just last week, DeSantis boasted an impressive list of billionaire backers, including Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Breitbart co-owner Rebekah Mercer. David Bossie, the president of Citizens United and Trump's deputy campaign manager in 2016, is also among the backers.
Congressman Ron DeSantis is a brilliant young leader, Yale and then Harvard Law, who would make a GREAT Governor of Florida. He loves our Country and is a true FIGHTER!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2017
That support will make him a formidable opponent to the current Republican front-runner, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, and likely candidate Richard Corcoran, the Florida House speaker who has yet to declare.
Putnam, interviewed before DeSantis' announcement, said he can only focus on his own campaign.
"I'm focused on my grass-roots conservative message, which is that we're going to invest in work-force training and we're going to put vocational and technical education training back in our middle schools and high schools," he said.