Fresh off a resounding reelection victory, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is near the top of the list of Republican contenders for the 2024 presidential race. While he has not yet announced his candidacy, Florida’s GOP-dominated legislature is already mulling changing state law to allow DeSantis to run for president while staying in the state’s top office. A big part of his successful reelection was huge support among Florida Latinos. However, Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette warns Republicans that they should not expect all Latinos to vote for DeSantis in 2024.

DeSantis, a likely 2024 contender for the GOP nomination for president, may not be Donald Trump’s favorite person right now as they get ready for a cage match in the octagon. Yet Latinos in Florida seem to like DeSantis mucho. I know what you’re thinking, but Florida is not just for Cubans anymore. Have you been to Miami lately? It’s the U.S. capital of Latin America with Colombians, Venezuelans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and others. A lot of these folks give DeSantis high marks for his competency in dealing with natural disasters and COVID. His strength and toughness and handling the media and the liberal establishment and his willingness to throw hard punches at his opponents, both in Florida and Washington. 

That hard edge goes a long way with Latino men in particular. They liked Reagan, they liked Trump, and now they like DeSantis. In his recent reelection, DeSantis won about 65% of the vote in majority Latino precincts. That included a resounding victory in the overwhelming Latino Miami suburb of Hialeah, where he took more than 78% of the vote. Those numbers are unreal. DeSantis deserves credit for making such deep inroads into the Latino community in Florida. Respect, governor, or as we say, “respeto.”

This is a big country folks. Mexican Americans and Mexicans who make up more than 60% of the Latino population in the United States, they live on a different planet from our cousins in the Caribbean and South America. If tough-guy Ron runs for president in 2024, my tribe won’t be charmed. Rather, faced with a White House bid by Ron DeSantis, they’re sure to give the mean little runt the spanking that he so richly deserves.

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