Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Southern California on Sunday, taking swipes at Gov. Gavin Newsom in his own backyard amid a widening Republican Primary battle ahead of 2024.
“I know you guys got a lot of problems out here, but your governor is very concerned about what we’re doing in Florida, so I figured I had to come by,” DeSantis said, speaking before a crowd of over a thousand people at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library’s Air Force One Pavilion and drawing considerable applause.
But it was not a warm welcome from everyone. The Simi Valley Police Department said Sunday that library employees discovered black spray paint on an entrance sign reading “Ron DeFascist” in the early morning hours.
Authorities said employees were able to remove the paint before DeSantis’ arrival. However, soon after, a large contingent of several dozen protesters took to the sidewalks in front of the library to protest his speech.
DeSantis’ visit to the Golden State follows two days spent in Texas fundraising for the Harris and Dallas County Republican Parties and exactly one year away from Super Tuesday when voters in both states will hit the polls to cast their ballot for a 2024 presidential nominee.
While DeSantis has not officially entered the race for the Republican nomination, he is widely viewed as a potential favorite by many. A recent UC Berkeley/LA Times poll released last week showed him leading former President Donald Trump by eight points in California’s primary next year.
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