When Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis takes the stage to deliver a welcoming address at the Conservative Political Action Conference on his home field in Orlando Friday, it will be as a fast-rising force in the conservative movement and an increasingly plausible and popular contender for his party’s presidential nomination in 2024.
DeSantis will be followed in the spotlight on the first full day of CPAC 2021 by a succession of marquee GOP names vying to woo the party’s conservative base at the movement’s signature annual gathering of the tribes. Among them will be potential 2024 GOP presidential hopefuls and aspiring heirs to the leadership of their party’s populist conservative wing, including Sens. Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Josh Hawley, of Texas, Arkansas and Missouri, respectively.
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried issued a press release on Monday stating that she will direct offices within her purview not to lower flags to half-staff in honor of the recently deceased conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh.
The announcement from the Democrat comes after Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had previously indicated that flags would be lowered to half-staff to honor the late conservative icon.
Florida has the largest percentage of seniors 65-years-old and older in its population most vulnerable to the Chinese coronavirus among larger states and second nationwide, at 20.5 percent, or 4.3 million. Yet it has a relatively low mortality rate for a large state for the China-originated COVID-19 pandemic, at just 2,660, according to data from the Florida Department of Health and the U.S. Census Bureau.