Will Rep. Ron DeSantis shake up GOP race for governor?

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, at a 2016 Republican Party of Florida meeting.

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, and political consultant Brad Herold made the rounds in Tallahassee on Monday as DeSantis ponders a 2018 run for governor.

Republican Adam Putnam (left) has already amassed $10 million for the governor’s race. House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Sen. Jack Latvala are also considering GOP bids.

“I appreciate the encouragement I’ve received about the 2018 governor’s race. I’m considering how I can make a difference and will decide my plans by the fall,” DeSantis said in a written statement.

Republican Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has been the early establishment favorite for the GOP nomination and already has $10 million in cash on hand for the race. House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land-O’Lakes, and state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, have been considering it as well and DeSantis chatter has been amping up in recent weeks.

DeSantis was a favorite of national conservative groups when he ran a 2016 campaign for U.S. Senate before bowing out of the race when Sen. Marco Rubio decided to seek re-election. DeSantis began April with $1.7 million in his congressional campaign account — money that could be transferred to a gubernatorial race.

Herold, who managed DeSantis’s 2016 campaign, said he and the congressman visited trade associations and business groups on Monday in Tallahassee.

DeSantis is in his third House term. He has sponsored a term-limits resolution that would cap House members at three terms.

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