Gov. Ron DeSantis to campaign with Utah lawmakers amid presidential bid

Jul 18, 2023, 4:20 PM | Updated: Jul 19, 2023, 9:11 am

ron desantis, who will make an appearance in utah friday...

Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference at the Celebrate Freedom Foundation Hangar in West Columbia, S.C. Tuesday, July 18, 2023. DeSantis visited South Carolina to file his 2024 candidacy for president. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

(AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

 Senator Todd Weiler joins Dave & Dujanovic, listen live at 9:20 am. 

SALT LAKE CITY — Presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is campaigning with Utah lawmakers Friday.

State Sen. Todd Weiler confirmed the event to KSL NewsRadio, and said he was invited by the campaign. But, Weiler said he’s not involved in any fundraisers being held in Utah by the DeSantis campaign.

“We’ve planned [the event] on the steps of the Capitol, which is a public place,” Weiler said.

“Several” other lawmakers have committed to attending, according to Weiler. Among those, Utah Sen President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, his reps confirm.

“I’m afraid if my party nominates Trump again, then we’ll lose again to Joe Biden,” Weiler said.


Weiler said he’s supporting DeSantis because he has the values he’s looking for in a candidate, and Weiler wants someone who can serve for eight years, not just for four.

“There’s a lot of good candidates out there but I don’t know if they can win,” Weiler said.

DeSantis’ platform

Much like former President Donald Trump, DeSantis has been a divisive political figure. Speaking to Utah’s Republican Party at their state convention this past April, he touted several policies that he championed in Florida including blocking transgender surgeries and puberty blockers, his war with Disney over LGBTQ issues and eliminating diversity, equity, and inclusion offices in higher education.

“They say it’s diversity, equity, and inclusion,” DeSantis said at the convention. “In reality, it’s a Trojan horse to try to impose a left-wing ideological agenda on our universities and on the students,” he said.

“How it’s really practiced, DEI, it’s really discrimination, exclusion, and indoctrination, and that has no part in our public system,” DeSantis told the audience.

Weiler was asked if he was okay with this type of rhetoric.

“There are some of his positions that I like better than others,” said Weiler. “But I also think that he says some hard things that oftentimes need to be said.”

Weiler argued that the political environment is divisive and DeSantis doesn’t back down and stands up for what he believes in. Weiler called that part of his “leadership traits” that he argues voters are looking for. 

“Does he fit everything perfectly? Is he as polished as someone who’s been on the campaign trail longer could be? Probably not,” Weiler said. “But he’s got what I’m looking for in a presidential candidate.”

Related: DeSantis raised $20 million in second quarter, campaign says

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Politics + Government

Students walk through campus at Utah Valley University in Orem. Student Loan payments resume in Oct...

Derrick Jones

Student loan repayments set to resume: what you need to know

The restart of student loan payments looms after a pause in March 2020, these payments are set to resume in October.

4 hours ago

Image of Rep. John Curtis, R-UT, who is still considering whether he will attempt a run for the U.S...

Lindsay Aerts

Rep. John Curtis “a nine” (on a one-to-ten scale) about Senate run

Rep. John Curtis said he's currently weighing if a Senate run is best for him, the state, his staff, and Utah's 3rd Congressional District.

6 hours ago

a mom and her baby at a WIC clinic --SALT LAKE CITY -- Gov. Spencer Cox announced Thursday that a f...

Hugo Rikard-Bell

WIC benefits in Utah will continue through October regardless of government shutdown

Utah moms and children will have their WIC benefits funded through the United States Department of Agriculture.

10 hours ago

Salt Lake City's 2023 mayoral candidates, from left to right: community activist Michael Valentine,...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

What Salt Lake City’s mayoral candidates have to say about Great Salt Lake’s future

The three Salt Lake City candidates for Mayor discuss the issues surrounding the Great Salt Lake ahead of the November election.

15 hours ago

US Army Private Travis King ran across the military demarcation line into North Korea on July 18. K...

Kevin Liptak, Haley Britzky, Oren Liebermann, Betsy Klein, Rob Picheta, Gawon Bae, Alex Marquardt and Michael Conte

American soldier Travis King is en route to the US after being freed by North Korea

American soldier Travis King is on his way back to United States after being released by North Korea.

18 hours ago

Republican presidential candidates former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and ...

Eric Bradner, Gregory Krieg, Steve Contorno, Daniel Strauss and Arit John

Takeaways from the second Republican presidential debate

Listen to the recap from the second Republican debate today at 9:05 on Dave & Dujanovic! (CNN) — The Republicans vying to become the top alternative to Donald Trump in 2024 opened their second debate Wednesday night with new attacks on the front-runner, but their efforts to separate themselves from the pack were marred by a chaotic environment, […]

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Gov. Ron DeSantis to campaign with Utah lawmakers amid presidential bid