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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) spoke at the Victory Dinner in Hollywood, Florida for Florida’s Sunshine Summit this past Saturday. During the dinner, where media access was invite only, DeSantis invoked Ephesians 6:10-18 as he encouraged Republicans to retake the House and Senate after this November’s midterm elections. “You got to be ready for battle, so put on the full armor of God. Take a stand against the left’s schemes. Stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around your waist. You will face fire from flaming arrows, but the shield of faith will protect you.” DeSantis also spoke about key issues that will likely impact the midterm elections, such as COVID shut downs, gender and race issues, and rising household prices from inflation.

DeSantis, who will be 44 this September, has distinguished himself as a potential presidential candidate in the 2024 election. During 2020, he faced criticism from Democrats and some Republicans when he refused to shut down Florida again during COVID resurgences. He continued his refusal to shutdown against pressure from the Biden administration and has criticized the president’s policies openly, including during a recent speech at Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit. “He came in and cranked the printing presses, kneecapped American energy, and he also opened our southern border,” DeSantis said of President Biden. Last July at the Alliance Defending Freedom Summit on Religious Liberty, where he also quoted Ephesians 6, he criticized Biden’s shutdown policies saying, “You had places throughout this country where churches were closed but strip clubs were open or liquor stores were open. You tell me how that makes any sense whatsoever. And so I think this idea of certain things being essential or not, honestly, is something that we’ve got to throw in the trash can.”

When Florida posted a $21.8 billion budget surplus earlier this month, the biggest the state has ever had, DeSantis stated it was due to his state’s staying open. “Our responsible policies have allowed us to make record investments to support our communities, promote education, protect the environment, and provide record tax relief for Floridians, all while building record reserves to protect the state against the reckless fiscal policies from Washington,” he said in a statement. His balance of snappy comebacks and family man image have made him a person of interest as the 2024 election approaches. He is the father of three young children and his wife, Casey, recently was announced cancer free after being diagnosed with breast cancer last October. DeSantis, a Roman Catholic, leaned on his faith during his wife’s diagnosis. “I have faith in God. I have faith in her,” he said at a press conference soon after her diagnosis. “And I do have faith in the power of prayer.”

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