DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is planning his first visit to Iowa next week, making a stop in the top Republican polling state ahead of an expected 2024 presidential announcement later this year.
DeSantis has scheduled events for March 10 in the eastern Iowa city of Davenport and the state capital of Des Moines to promote his new book, “The Courage to Be Free.” He will be accompanied by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who has said she plans to remain neutral in the 2024 Iowa caucuses.
The plans were confirmed by two aides to Republican officials who spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to pre-empt DeSantis’ statement.
DeSantis has been ramping up travel around the country as part of his book tour and as he prepares to announce his bid for the White House, likely in late spring or early summer.
After a slow January, the Republican presidential hopefuls began ramping up their travel to Iowa last month and plan to continue this month. Notably absent until now were DeSantis and former President Donald Trump, who announced his candidacy in November.
Trump aides announced Wednesday that he plans to make his first visit to Iowa of the 2024 campaign this month, though his team has not released any details of the trip.
Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, who announced her candidacy last month, was in Iowa in late February and plans to return next week to host two town halls and participate in a foreign policy event with Republican Sen. Joni Ernst in De – Mine.
Among other potential candidates, former Vice President Mike Pence was in the state last month to rally conservative parents against an eastern Iowa school district’s gender-affirmation policy, which is the subject of a federal lawsuit. Pence is expected to return to Iowa on March 18. Last week, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott was in the Des Moines area to give a speech at Drake University and headline a GOP district dinner in the state’s most populous county.