Ron DeSantis campaigns at Utah’s Capitol with lawmakers

Jul 21, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: Jul 26, 2023, 12:03 pm

Ron DeSantis at capitol...

Presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke at Utah's capitol alongside Utah lawmakers Friday. Photo credit: Lindsay Aerts/KSL NewsRadio

SALT LAKE CITY — Presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was his usual firebrand self as he spoke at Utah’s capitol alongside Utah lawmakers Friday.

Seventeen lawmakers and some other elected officials stood behind DeSantis and publicly gave them their endorsement. That included Utah’s Sen. President, Stuart Adams, R-Layton and other members of Utah’s House leadership.

Notably, House Speaker Brad Wilson did not attend. He’s exploring a run for U.S. Senate in 2024.

The event was supposed to be held outside on the east steps of the capitol but was moved to the Gold Room inside. There, DeSantis rallied to a room full of reporters and a few supporters against many of President Biden’s policies.

“Our country is in decline,” DeSantis said. “We see it. We feel it. I don’t think that that decline is inevitable. I think that that decline is a choice.”

DeSantis touted the hard work his campaign has done and needs to do, to win the Republican nomination. Recent polling has him trailing President Trump, including among Utah voters.

“I am not content with simply managing the decline of this country a little bit better than the democrats,” he said. “I want to give this country a new birth of freedom, and together, we’re going to get that done.”

He was also asked about a recent controversy with Florida’s Board of Education policy over slavery. DeSantis said he has nothing to do with creating the policy that teaches “slaves developed skills” that could later be used for “personal benefit.”

“[The Florida Board of Education is] probably gonna show some of the folks that eventually parlayed … being a blacksmith into doing things later in life,” he said. “But, the reality is all of that is rooted in whatever is factual.”

A small group of demonstrators, some of them Black, showed up with signs that read “Slavery did not benefit the enslaved.”

Photo credit: Lindsay Aerts/KSL NewsRadio

DeSantis now heads to a fundraiser in Plesant Grove, which will cost attendees as much as $13,200 per VIP couple and $1,000 per individual. DeSantis will be doing more fundraising in Utah during the upcoming weekend.

Related stories: Gov. Cox meeting with Gov. Ron DeSantis Friday, Senate President Stuart Adams holding fundraiser

We want to hear from you.

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

Politics + Government

The GOP primary candidates running for Utah's 3rd Congressional District, from left to right: John ...

Curt Gresseth

Five Republican challengers for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District to face off on the issues

These are the five candidates running in the Republican primary for Utah's 3rd Congressional District.

10 hours ago

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the White House, Nov. 8, 2023, in Washington....

Jessica Lowell

Vice President Kamala Harris to visit Utah

Vice President Kamala Harris will be in Utah for a fundraiser on June 28.

11 hours ago

Utah Rep. Phil Lyman speaks as he debates with incumbent Gov. Spencer Cox during Utah's gubernatori...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Gov. Spencer Cox, challenger Phil Lyman try to differentiate during ‘tame’ GOP debate

One of the biggest differences came early on in the debate, when Cox and Lyman were asked what the state's financial responsibility should be for a potential 2034 Winter Olympic Games.

23 hours ago

Utah senate debate...

Adam Small

Tempers flare in final minute of Utah Senate debate

The final minutes of the Utah Senate debate on Monday became heated between Congressman Curtis and Draper Mayor Trent Staggs.

2 days ago

Hunter Biden...

Mariah Maynes

Hunter Biden found guilty in federal gun trial

A jury has found Hunter Biden guilty in his federal gun trial.

2 days ago

U.S. Senate candidates John Curtis, Brad Wilson, Jason Walton and Trent Staggs debated one another ...

Emma Keddington

Four candidates go head-to-head in the GOP Senate Primary Debate

KSL at Night hosts Leah Murray and Adam Gardiner broke down the first Senate debate in the race for Senator Mitt Romney's seat. 

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Ron DeSantis campaigns at Utah’s Capitol with lawmakers