North Florida congressman who has Trump's backing is running for governor

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Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis officially entered the race for Florida governor on Friday, just days after President Trump endorsed his potential candidacy.

That support will make him a formidable opponent to the current Republican front-runner, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, and likely candidate Richard Corcoran, the Florida House speaker who has yet to declare.

DeSantis, a longtime Republican, said he felt he was in a position to advance the Sunshine State on the heels of Gov. Rick Scott's two-term governorship.

DeSantis briefly made a decision to run for U.S. Senate in 2016 when U.S. Sen.

DeSantis has represented Florida's 6th District in Congress since 2013 but widely flew under the radar until recent months when political insiders began speculating he would make a bid for governor.

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Congressman Ron DeSantis announced Friday that he would join the crowd of candidates vying to become Florida's next governor, making official a long-rumored campaign. Marco Rubio reversed course and chose to seek another term after bowing out of a bid for president.

Last month, Trump tweeted that DeSantis is a "brilliant young leader".

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News.

"I'm excited about taking this first step towards a campaign for governor", DeSantis said. "While DeSantis has dedicated his time in Congress to protecting Trump from Mueller and becoming a Fox News star, we look forward to a vigorous debate on the real issues that affect Florida families most". Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, have all raised millions of dollars for anticipated runs for governor this year, although Latvala is mired in a sexual misconduct scandal.

DeSantis enters the contest with almost $1.7 million in his U.S. House account that can be transferred into the gubernatorial run, and a political committee, Fund for Florida's Future, which has about $2 million on hand.

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