DeSantis' travel, security cost Florida taxpayers $8 million over past year amid presidential bid

The DeSantis family's travel and security have cost more than $22 million to taxpayers during his time in office.
Ron DeSantis, Eagle Pass, Texas, June 26, 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' travel and security costs have cost state taxpayers over $8 million to Florida taxpayers over the past year as he tours the United States for his campaign to win the 2024 Republican nomination for president.

Over the 2022-2023 fiscal year, which in Florida is from July 1 to June 30 of the following, DeSantis' travel and security expenses cost $8,073,607, according to data from the state Department of Law Enforcement cited by The Miami Herald in an article Wednesday.

When also including the travel and security expenses for the DeSantis family, the cost rises to $8,866,371.

In contrast, during the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the family's travel and security expenses were more than $5.5 million, and in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, travel and security expenses remained below $4.4 million.

While speculation about DeSantis entering the 2024 presidential race has gone on since the 2020 election, the Florida governor officially announced his campaign in May.

In Florida, taxpayers can pick up the travel and security costs for governors even when they are campaigning or traveling for personal reasons. Over more than four years in office, the DeSantis family's travel and security have cost more than $22 million to taxpayers.

"Protective operations salaries are covered," Gretl Plessinger, a spokesperson for the agency in charge of the governor’s security and travel, told the paper during an interview in June. "For us, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a campaign event or a vacation on the beach, for protective ops we cover him 24-7."

DeSantis remains in second place in most hypothetical Republican primary surveys, according to FiveThirtyEight. Former President Donald Trump reigns the polls, averaging at least 38 points above all other candidates.

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