(FLORIDA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will launch his 2024 presidential campaign during a social media event with Elon Musk on Wednesday night, multiple sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.
DeSantis will declare he is seeking the Republican nomination during a live, audio-only Twitter Spaces event at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday, the sources said. The Twitter conversation will be moderated by Musk ally David Sacks.
Later Wednesday, DeSantis will appear on Fox News to talk about his campaign.
Musk, the high-profile tech billionaire who bought Twitter last year, has said that he intends to back DeSantis in 2024.
News of their event was first reported by NBC News.
The governor’s plans for launching a White House bid have shifted this year, ABC News has reported.
Among the initial ideas was for DeSantis to tout his wins after the close of the Florida Legislature’s current session, throughout May and well into June, while holding off on formally announcing a 2024 run as long as possible, sources familiar have told ABC News.
But as speculation grew that he was in fact gearing up to run, and as former President Donald Trump and Trump’s political operation unleashed an onslaught of attacks, the governor and his team moved up his timeline — even scrapping tentative plans to launch an exploratory committee and moving up a formal announcement date to May rather than June, sources have said.
Separate from his Twitter event Wednesday, DeSantis’ team has also been planning for him to hold an official kickoff in his hometown of Dunedin, outside Tampa, according to sources. That event is tentatively planned to take place the week of Memorial Day, but sources have cautioned that the details could still change.
The governor will also meet with donors at a two-day event in Miami that begins Wednesday.
He will enter the Republican primary field as Trump’s biggest rival for the nomination. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll showed DeSantis as Trump’s nearest potential opponent among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents.
Among the six best-known candidates, Trump clinched 51% of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents while DeSantis garnered 25%. Still, a majority of those voters said they’d be satisfied with either Trump (75%) or DeSantis (64%) as their presidential nominee.
DeSantis held a call last week with donors and supporters where he took on Trump directly.
“You have basically three people at this point that are credible in this whole thing,” he said, according to two people who were on the call.
“[President Joe] Biden, Trump and me. And I think of those three, two have a chance to get elected president: Biden and me, based on all the data in the swing states, which is not great for the former president and probably insurmountable because people aren’t going to change their view of him,” he said.
On Tuesday, Trump’s team responded to news of DeSantis’ upcoming announcement by criticizing him as avoiding scrutiny.
“Announcing on Twitter is perfect for Ron DeSantis,” a Trump adviser told ABC News. “This way he doesn’t have to interact with people and the media can’t ask him any questions.”
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