DeSantis Excites Crowd in Speech to Alabama GOP, Prompts Record Fundraising

Florida Governor. Although Ron DeSantis is yet to declare whether he will be running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, he has made several appearances across the nation, including one in Alabama last week.

DeSantis was a special guest speaker at Thursday’s Alabama Republican Party’s Winter Dinner (ALGOP), in Hoover Alabama, just outside of Birmingham.

The party released a press release stating that DeSantis’s performance was in such high demand that the event was moved from Birmingham Sheraton into the Finley Center in Hoover, just days after tickets were on sale.

According to the release from the party, attendance records were broken along with fundraising numbers. The event attracted over 1,700 people and generated nearly $700,000. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry set the previous attendance record. Rick Perry at ALGOP Summer Dinner 2011.

The Governor’s Blueprint

DeSantis shared his “Florida Blueprint” With attendees on topics such as school choice and protecting children from woke policy, 1819 News reported.

“You can be right on all the policies, but if you don’t have the courage of your convictions, you’re not going to beat the left,” According to the outlet, DeSantis spoke to the crowd. “For us, having the courage to lead has been an indispensable ingredient for Florida’s success. Just look at COVID, and I’m proud to say of all the things we’ve done.”

More than 1700 people attended the Florida Governor’s visit. Ron DeSantis, Alabama Republican Party 2023, Winter Dinner at Finley Center in Hoover (Ala.) on March 9, 2023. (Courtesy ALGOP/Grady Thornton

1819 News reported that DeSantis was the one who received the most applause for discussing Florida’s economy. He suggested that Alabama repeal its income tax. Florida has none.

“Of course, people want to come to a state where we respect taxpayers, where we’re not going to tax them into oblivion,” He stated. “I can tell you, as long as I’m around, we’re not going to have a state income tax. You guys should try it. It works pretty good.”

He also spoke out about his COVID-19 approach in Florida, saying that Florida chose it. “freedom over Faucism.”

DeSantis Identified as Central GOP Figure

Alabama’s Republican governor introduced the possible 2024 candidate. Kay Ivey was reelected in 2022.

John Wahl, ALGOP chairman, was a key Republican National Committee (RNC), position that organized southern states prior to the 2024 election. He noted the excitement that the governor brought the state and the Republican Party.

“The 2023 Winter Dinner was an exciting event, both for the Republican Party and the state of Alabama,” Wahl made the statement in a press release. “I think this was the perfect opportunity for Governor DeSantis to get to know Alabama a little better, and also for our state to meet one of America’s strongest conservative leaders, and someone that I think is going to be a central figure within the Republican Party for years to come.”

In recent speeches in Iowa, DeSantis said that Republicans taking a firm stance in the nation’s culture wars will help win elections, and he pledged never to surrender to the “woke mob.”

He spoke out about his fight against leftist priorities while in Iowa. He highlighted such achievements as banning COVID-19 and mask mandates, banning teaching gender identity and sexual orientation to students, and stopping biological men from participating in women’s sport.

The governor also spoke to a crowd in Staten Island, New York, on President’s Day, touting Florida’s accomplishments in net migration rate, new business formation, education freedom, parental involvement in education, and economic growth during his tenure.

In addition to his increasing appearances in states outside of Florida, the governor has shown an increasing tendency to weigh in on national-level issues, such as chairmanship of the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Russia–Ukraine war.

A memoir by him was recently published. “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival.”

DeSantis responded to a question regarding his decision on Fox News’ presidential candidacy in February.

“We’re going to sell some books, we’re going to spread the message of Florida. And then on March 8, I have our Legislative Session that’s kicking off,” DeSantis said. “So those are what we’re going to be doing over these next few months as we get beyond that, then we can decide from there.”

Wahl expressed his appreciation to the governor for visiting Alabama Republican voters. “first major visits after his re-election last November.”

“I am excited about getting the 2024 election cycle started with such a successful event,” Wahl. “It’s important for the party to have the resources and organization we need to challenge leftist candidates and policies both here in Alabama and in swing districts across the country. The Alabama Republican Party is ready to stand strong as we defend our rights and freedoms, and protect the values that made this nation great.”

This report was contributed by Gary Bai and Tom Ozimek.

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