Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) appears to have decided not to speak at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), The Floridian has learned.

According to a source, Gov. DeSantis (pictured speaking at the 2021 CPAC) was invited to attend and speak but appears to have a scheduling conflict with the event, which will be held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland March 1-4.

The source believes DeSantis is “going to skip” the conference, and wishes he would reconsider attending what is arguably the center of the conservative universe every year.

The list of confirmed speakers , which includes Floridian Reps. Bryon Donalds, Kat Cammack, Greg Steube, Matt Gaetz, Senator Rick Scott, and Attorney General Ashley Moody, does not list Gov. DeSantis as a speaker.

It even includes former Ambassador Nikki Haley who recently announced her candidacy for the Oval Office.

For the past two years, the famed CPAC event has been held in Florida as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns that gripped most of the country.

Because Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reopened and kept the state open for business throughout the pandemic, CPAC seized the opportunity to hold their event in the ever-welcomed 80 degree weather, and not the usually frigid Mid-Atlantic temperatures.

One Florida-based political operative, who asked that we keep his or her identify out of this story, believes that DeSantis should go to CPAC, adding that if he didn’t go, “he would look weak.”

However, much like President Donald Trump, who is slated to speak at CPAC, DeSantis walks to the beat of his own drum.

But the question remains: Why wouldn’t DeSantis attend CPAC after hosting and speaking at the past two conferences?

Some will speculate that DeSantis may not want to add any more hype to the presumed and expected 2024 Republican presidential primary cage match between himself and former President Trump.

Or, with the event not being held in Florida, perhaps DeSantis believes that a trip to Maryland would look as though he is chasing the spotlight. More importantly, it could look as though he is chasing Donald Trump.

Both men spoke at the CPAC events held in the Sunshine State, but President Trump has ramped up his criticisms of DeSantis over the past few months as the popular governor continues to lay out a presidential campaign platform, and as public opinion polls show him cutting into Trump’s overall lead in hypothetical head-to-head matchups.

DeSantis has ignored those criticisms.

For instance, just this past weekend, President Trump claimed victory over DeSantis after Christian Ziegler won the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) Chairman election over Evan Power.

Trump on Truth Social stated that “we won a big Championship in Florida over the DeSantis Reps, but actually, it’s a win for ALL.”

DeSantis attended the event and congratulated both Ziegler and Power after the votes were cast.

Moreover, the new chair had nothing but nice words for the Governor.

“100%. Governor DeSantis is transformational Governor who wakes up every day running towards the fight on behalf of Conservatives. As he takes on these fights, The Republican Party of Florida must provide cover and support by defending and promoting his efforts,” stated Ziegler.

The DeSantis campaign could not be reached for comment.

There is still time for DeSantis to reconsider attending the annual event.

Source: https://floridianpress.com/2023/02/ron-desantis-to-skip-2023-cpac/

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