Mon. Oct 2nd, 2023

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is widely expected to launch a 2024 presidential bid. Meet the DeSantis family.

    Casey and Ron DeSantis with their children Mamie (left), Mason (center), and Madison (right).

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is widely expected to run for president in 2024.
    His wife, Casey DeSantis, is a former newscaster who has helped him refine his public image.
    They have three young children: Madison, Mason, and Mamie.

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is widely expected to run for president in 2024, though he has yet to make any official announcement.Ron DeSantis.

    DeSantis campaigned with other Republicans during the 2022 midterms, scored a historic, nearly 20-point victory in his gubernatorial reelection bid in November, and released his first memoir, “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival,” in February — all signs that could point to a potential presidential campaign in 2024, Insider previously reported.

    But DeSantis has stayed quiet on the subject. When asked if he was planning to run for president at a February press conference, he responded, “Wouldn’t you like to know,” according to Fox News.

    DeSantis, 44, had a working-class upbringing in Florida as part of a family of four.Ron DeSantis’ family supported him in Washington, DC, when he was sworn into the US House.

    DeSantis’ father, also named Ron, was a Nielsen-ratings box installer and his mother, Karen, is a retired critical-care nurse.

    DeSantis describes his parents in his book as having “Rust Belt values” because his father was from western Pennsylvania and his mother was from northeast Ohio. The family spent some time in Jacksonville and Orlando, but they settled in the small town of Dunedin, near Tampa.

    Karen often helps the DeSantises with childcare, Casey shared on “First Coast Living” in 2018.

    DeSantis had a sister, Christina, who was a financial consultant for KPMG and tragically died in 2015 from a sudden illness at the age of 30 while in London.

    The whole DeSantis family and his in-laws went to Washington, DC, in 2013 when DeSantis was sworn into the US House, CSPAN footage shows

    He met his wife, Casey, on a golf course in 2006. They wed at Disney World in 2009.Ron and Casey DeSantis.

    DeSantis recalled their chance meeting in his 2023 memoir, calling it “my life’s most fortuitous moment.”

    “There was no way I was leaving that driving range without asking her on a date,” he wrote.

    Insider previously reported that the couple held their wedding ceremony at the Grand Floridian’s wedding pavilion, a chapel overlooking Cinderella Castle and the Seven Seas Lagoon at Walt Disney World Resort. Their reception was held at Epcot’s Italy Isola in a nod to their Italian heritage.

    In a February interview with SiriusXM Patriot radio, DeSantis acknowledged that their Disney World wedding ended up being “kind of ironic” considering the Florida governor’s feud with Disney over the Parental Rights in Education Act.

    “We never would have thought that how many years later we would be tussling with Disney in a political office,” he said, according to a transcript and recording of the interview shared with Insider. “But life can be unpredictable.”

    A former newscaster, Casey has been instrumental in her husband’s rise to fame in the GOP.Ron and Casey DeSantis during an election night watch party at the Tampa Convention Center on November 8, 2022.

    Before becoming Florida’s first lady, Casey, now 42, worked as a news anchor for WJXT, Channel 4, in Jacksonville, covering crime and public safety, and hosted “On the Tee” and “PGA Tour Today” on the Golf Channel.

    She most recently worked at First Coast News, where she produced an all-female roundtable show called “The Chat” and hosted the talk show “First Coast Living.” She left the network in 2018 during DeSantis’ campaign for governor.

    “I’m taking a step away to go be with the family,” she said on an “First Coast Living” appearance, after she had her first two children. “It’s really special. Can I just tell you how much I love those kids, and how much I love my husband?” 

    Casey has drawn on her media experience throughout her husband’s political career, teaching DeSantis how to contour his face for TV and make his messages camera-ready.

    “It’s clear she’s the X factor,” Scott Parkinson, one of DeSantis’ former chiefs of staff in the US House of Representatives, previously told Insider. “They complete the political element that is Ron DeSantis. Without Casey, he would not be the same person.” 

    She is also a cancer survivor.Casey DeSantis.

    In October 2021, DeSantis announced that Casey had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

    “Going through chemotherapy was a miserable experience; I would attend her hours-long treatment sessions with her, and by the end, she was totally spent,” DeSantis wrote in his memoir.

    In March 2022, he shared a video announcing that after treatment and surgery, Casey had entered remission and been declared cancer-free.

    In October, Casey appeared in an emotional ad for DeSantis’ 2022 reelection campaign sharing how her husband cared for her and her family during cancer treatments.

    “When I was diagnosed with cancer and I was facing the battle for my life, he was the dad who took care of my children when I couldn’t,” she said in the ad. “He was there to pick me off of the ground when I literally could not stand. He was there to fight for me when I didn’t have the strength to fight for myself.” 

    They have three children: Madison, Mason, and Mamie.Casey and Ron DeSantis with their children Mamie (left), Mason (center), and Madison (right).

    Insider previously reported that DeSantis dedicated “The Courage to Be Free” to his children.

    “To Madison, Mason, and Mamie: Remember to always listen to your mother,” the book’s dedication reads.

    The DeSantises often take their children with them to events around the state. A photo of Florida’s first family graced the cover of the New York Post the day after the 2022 election, reading, “DeFuture.” 

    “My priority is my children, I want them to grow up healthy and happy,” Casey told “First Coast News” in 2020. “I try to involve them in as much as I possibly can when we have events here at the mansion.” 

    Madison, 6, appeared in a 2018 campaign ad highlighting Donald Trump’s endorsement of DeSantis for governor of Florida.Casey DeSantis with her daughter Madison at a Moms For Liberty Summit in July 2022.

    In the ad, Casey touted DeSantis as not only a candidate backed by President Donald Trump, but an “amazing dad,” Insider’s Cheryl Teh reported.

    The video showed DeSantis encouraging the then-2-year-old Madison to “build the wall” by stacking toy bricks and teaching her to read the words “Make America Great Again” from a Trump campaign sign.

    “I think a lot of people looked at it, and they thought it was funny. They saw the humor,” Casey said in a 2018 interview with WJXT, her former news station. “You have to understand, in context, perspective, when this ad was coming out, there was $17 million in negative attack ads coming out against Ron. False, fake terrible attack ads. So how did we respond? With humor. We had some fun, and I think a lot of people got the joke.”

    Their son, Mason, 4, was baptized at the governor’s mansion after DeSantis’ inauguration in 2019.Casey DeSantis with Mason.

    The DeSantis family opted not to hold the traditional inaugural parade after the gubernatorial swearing-in ceremony in 2018. Instead, they held their son Mason’s baptism at the governor’s mansion with water they collected from the Sea of Galilee on a trip to Israel.

    At a press conference a few weeks later, DeSantis revealed that the cleaning crew at the governor’s mansion accidentally threw out the leftover water from the baptism, which they had kept in an unlabeled water bottle, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

    “We’re not used to having people pick up for us,” he said. “I think the folks who clean didn’t realize what it was.”

    In “The Courage to Be Free,” DeSantis writes that after the press conference, staffers showed him photos of people in Israel filling bottles with water from the Sea of Galilee. A jar of the water was also delivered to his office, which the couple later used to baptize Mason’s younger sister, Mamie.

    “It was a nice story, but it also showed how, with my new platform, what I was doing in Florida could have reverberations halfway across the globe,” he wrote. “We were in the big leagues now.”

    Mason also starred alongside his dad in a 2022 campaign ad called “Top Gov,” a play on the movie “Top Gun: Maverick” in which DeSantis argues for “taking on corporate media.” 

    The end of the ad shows Mason in an aircraft saying, “Let’s turn and burn!” 

    Their youngest, Mamie, is 2 years old.Ron DeSantis holds his daughter Mamie during an election-night watch party in Tampa, Florida, on November 8, 2022.

    Mamie was born while DeSantis was in office, making her the first baby to live in the Florida governor’s mansion in more than 50 years.

    According to DeSantis’ official website, Mamie “loves her siblings and is fond of Bingo from Bluey.”

    Casey has opened up about what it’s like to raise three small children in the governor’s mansion, sharing anecdotes about their coloring on the walls of the state dining room and singing into the security guards’ microphones before dawn. 

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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