Ron DeSantis is the 46th Governor of the state of Florida and he is a member of the Republican party. He has recently made news as one of the nation's governors who has held off on issuing a statewide stay at home order as the COVID-19 outbreak begins to peak in key cities in the country. In case you're not familiar with him, we've researched his career history to highlight some key achievements in his personal life as well as his political career. To help you know him better, here are 10 things that you didn't know about Ron DeSantis.
1. Ron DeSantis is a native Floridian
Who better to lead the state than a native of the area. He was born in Jacksonville, Florida on September 14, 1978. His parents are Karen (Rogers) and Ronald DeSantis, and they named him Ronald Dion DeSantis. He is currently 41 years of age. Ron was born in Jacksonville, but the family moved to Orlando for a period of time. When he was age 6, the family relocated to the city of Dunedin, Florida. He was born and raised in Florida and this is where he grew up and attended schools.
2. Ron was a competitive athlete as a youth
DeSantis has a competitive spirit and he has since he was young. He joined the Dunedin National Little League team. They performed so well as a team that they took it to the next level. After completing the regular baseball season, his team advanced to compete in the Little League World Series that was held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 1991.
3. He has an Ivy League education
Ron DeSantis attended Dunedin High School and graduated in 1997. After graduation he was accepted to the prestigious Yale University where he earned his bachelor's degree in history, graduating in 2001. He continued athletic competition and became captain of the variety baseball team for the school.
4. DeSantis is also a Harvard man
Most of us are aware of the competition that has been ongoing between Harvard and Yale alums, but Ron DeSantis is an alumnus of them both. After leaving Yale he went to Darlington School where he served on the department of the Upper School history. Next, he enrolled in the doctoral program at the Harvard Law School where he earned his JD in 2005.
5. He is a published author
In addition to the other impressive things that Ron DeSantis has done in his life, he is also an accomplished writer. In 2011, his book titled "Dreams From Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the Age of Obama was published. He has also written other works and they have appeared in a variety of different publications. His work has appeared in American Thinker, "Human Events, The American Spectator, The Washington Times, and National Review.
6. Ron served in the military
Prior to becoming involved in politics, Ron DeSantis served in the military. In 2004, he received a Reserve Naval officer's commission with an assignment to the JAG Corps. In 2005, while still a student at Harvard Law School, he completed US Naval Justice School. He was assigned to the Naval Station Mayport, Florida as a prosecutor for JAG.
7. He worked at Guantanamo Bay
DeSantis was assigned to work for the commander of JTF-GTMO while he was a lieutenant junior grade. He was promoted to lieutenant soon after assuming his new duties. For the year that he was assigned to this job, he worked with the detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Joint detention Facility. This happened between 2005 and 2006. DeSantis has a distinguished military career serving on the US Navy SEAL One team in Fallujah. He was awarded the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star Medal.
8. DeSantis governs with a loose hand
Ron DeSantis governs the state of Florida from a position that keeps as much power within the districts as possible. He keeps the upper government out of the affairs of the counties as much as is humanly possible. This is evidenced by his reluctance to enact a statewide stay at home order for Florida. He finally conceded and signed the order recently, but after doing so, he let up on some of the restrictions placed by the order made by some counties. His guidelines supersede conflicting orders issued by local officials which restricts the abilities of the individual counties to limit the activities of the population within their borders. This has created a great deal of confusion for some, and in essence, while he has complied with pressure to impose the stay at home order, he has undone much of the good by allowing people to continue to congregate in large groups for certain purposes.
9. He clarified the misunderstandings created by his second order
DeSantis realized that there was a lack of clarity for some officials so he explained his official position. He boldly stated that in certain situations, local governments do have the power to limit gatherings with one exception. They could not interfere with the right of churches and synagogues to continue to carry on their religious services because, from this point of view, these are essential activities.
10. DeSantis is in the hot seat
Only time will tell how the people of Florida will react to the governor of Florida's handling of the COVID-19 outbreak that is currently spreading in the state. The number of positive tests is going up and so are the number of deaths statewide. It appears that he signed an order then changed his mind and issued an undermining order that allowed for some groups to gather while others could not. This is new ground when it comes to equal rights and the issue of freedom to practice the religion of your choice, particularly when gathering in large numbers has been proven to place the entire population at more significant risk for infection. The stakes are high and as it stands, it looks like he is attempting to preserve some inalienable rights as he perceives them, but at what cost? There are two sides to the debate but it will take time to learn how his constituency will feel about it in the future.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee