Florida Governor Ron DeSantis prepares for the 2024 presidential marketing campaign

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to be making the final moves before announcing his bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

The governor’s political organization began moving from its Tallahassee offices to a new location on Monday, a source familiar with the situation told CNBC.

The cost of the move is likely to exceed $5,000, a threshold that triggers a 15-day countdown for filing a so-called “statement of candidacy” form with the federal election commission. The move, reported by NBC News on Friday, should essentially mark DeSantis’ final push before he publicly announces his presidential candidacy.

Also on Monday, DeSantis press secretary Bryan Griffin announced that he would be leaving the governorship to “pursue other avenues to contribute to the governor’s success in our country.” According to Fox News, which first reported the move, Griffin will become press secretary for Operation DeSantis political.

“If I can do even a small part in the revitalization and restoration of our great nation, then I am willing to do my best,” Griffin wrote in his resignation letter.

A spokeswoman for the governor’s office said in a statement that Griffin “was a valuable member of the communications team and worked tirelessly to serve the people of Florida, and we know he will continue to serve the governor well in his new role.” “

The moves are among the clearest yet, showing that DeSantis is preparing to move into the primary arena previously dominated by former President Donald Trump. DeSantis, long considered Trump’s main Republican rival, has seen his standing decline in initial nationwide polls for the potential primary field, despite touring key states and touting a string of recent legislative victories.

Meanwhile, Trump appears to have risen sharply in the same polls despite being recently indicted by a New York jury on falsifying business records and facing liability for sexual abuse and defamation. Trump pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges and said he would appeal the jury’s verdict.

The polling gap between the leaders has widened, although the super PACs supporting DeSantis and Trump have each spent a comparable amount — more than $10 million — on ads in the primaries so far, according to data from ad-tracking firm AdImpact .

The pro-DeSantis political effort could soon find a major stroke of luck if the governor’s allies manage to wire nearly $86 million from the state GOP to a state super-PAC, which can use it to boost its national campaign. Some experts believe Florida governor’s supporters will make the move around the same time that DeSantis is announcing his candidacy for the White House.

DeSantis has been meeting with key funders over the past few weeks to lay out his position as a presidential candidate. Some of those potential well-wishers have since praised the governor’s skills, though Bloomberg reported that a wealthy GOP donor, Steve Schwarzman, is holding back after meeting him.

Meanwhile, DeSantis continued to use his office to improve his campaign platform. The governor signed several education-focused bills into law early Monday, including one banning funding for diversity, equality and inclusion programs in public colleges. Supporters and critics of these programs accused each other of suppressing academic freedom.

The anti-DEI bill is part of a broader, often politically divisive agenda recently passed by Florida’s heavily Republican legislature.

“If you want to do things like gender ideology, go to Berkeley,” DeSantis said at Monday’s signing event.

DeSantis and Trump had both planned to hold events in Iowa over the weekend, but the former president backed down, citing concerns about severe weather.

After evading this neck-and-neck race, Trump turned his attention back to the media’s repeated berating of DeSantis.

“He doesn’t have what it takes,” Trump said Monday in a multi-part Truth Social post about DeSantis, in which he blasted Fox News for allegedly being overly positive about the potential GOP challenger.

“Without my consent, he was a dead man. Even at Fox he’s pretty close again!” Trump wrote.

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