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Gavin Newsom vs. Ron DeSantis in 2028?

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis prompted the latter to chide Newsom to join the 2024 race against Joe Biden. That’s not happening. Newsom told The Associated Press he will not appear on any ballots in 2024. Newsom clearly will be a likely candidate in 2028 for the top job.

By Gage Skidmore. Governor Gavin Newsom speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis prompted the latter to chide Newsom to join the 2024 race against Joe Biden. That’s not happening. Newsom told The Associated Press he will not appear on any ballots in 2024.

Newsom clearly will be a likely candidate in 2028 for the top job.

“[Newsom] has a real serious fixation on the state of Florida, I think it’s just bizarre that he does that,” DeSantis said at the event in Fort Pierce. “What I would tell him is — you know what, stop pussyfooting around. Are you going to throw your hat into the ring and challenge Joe?”

Newsom Slams DeSantis as a Weak Candidate

Gavin Newsom rebutted DeSantis by hitting the candidate’s inability to lay a hand on Donald Trump.

“He’s taking his eye off the ball,” Newsom said of DeSantis’ attacks against him. “And that’s not inconsistent with my own assessment of him, which is he is a weak candidate, and he is undisciplined and will be crushed by Donald Trump, and will soon be in third or fourth in national polls.”

Both men could end up facing off in the general election in 2028. DeSantis and Newsom represent the next generation in their respective parties. Although Newsom has been panned in California for his handling of the COVID lockdowns and the state’s burgeoning homeless crisis, he told Fox News’s Sean Hannity that Democratic Party economic policies are working for America.

“This is on its way to becoming the fourth-largest economy in the world. What are you arguing for? Mississippi’s economic policy?” Newsom told Hannity. “Literally, that’s what you’re arguing for. The great Sam Brownback’s Kansas policy? It was a debacle, no economic growth. Seventy-one percent of the GDP in America are [in] blue counties, progressive policies. Seventy-one percent of the country’s wealth. Seven of the top 10 dependent states are your states. We’re subsidizing your states, Sean, because of your policies.”

An April Moneygeek report found that Republican-run states including West Virginia, Mississippi, Alaska, Kentucky, Montana, Arizona, and Alabama were reliant on federal aid. 

During Newsom’s interview with Hannity, he laid out the case for why California is a better place than Florida for economic growth and jobs, possibly setting the stage for 2028.

“There’s more Floridians moving to California than Floridians who have been from California per capita,” Newsom told Hannity. “Ten years ago we had a 13.3% tax for the 1%, and I am not ashamed by a progressive tax rate that actually protects the middle class … I am proud of the fact that working families are treated better in California than they are in conservative states, in places like Texas.

Newsom continued: “Over the past decade, we have outperformed most Western democracies. The state has grown just like our American economy has grown.”

Gavin Newsom Plans for Political Future

Newsom created a political organization called “The Campaign for Democracy” in March, targeting Republican-led states, which suggests he has longer-term political goals outside of California.

“The problem in our country right now: authoritarian leaders who are so hell-bent on gaining power and keeping it by whatever means necessary that they’re directly attacking our freedoms in state after state,” Newsom said. “We’re going to these states and investing in people and organizing where they’re fighting back.”

This clearly could end up being a major part of a Newsom campaign in 2028 after Joe Biden or Donald Trump are term-limited from seeking another term.

“It’s not inconceivable that four years from now, these two guys could be their respective parties’ nominees,” Democratic consultant Roy Behr told The Associated Press, noting that by sparring with DeSantis, Newsom is building his national brand and visibility and is “certainly trying to create opportunities for himself.”

John Rossomando was a senior analyst for Defense Policy and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.

Written By

John Rossomando is a senior analyst for Defense Policy and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award in 2008 for his reporting.