What to Expect When Your Neighbor Runs for President

What to Expect When Your Neighbor Runs for President

One of our neighbors is about to run for President. Governor Desantis, who resides with his young family on Adams Street, is expected to declare his candidacy for leader of the free world soon. Despite the disbelief by many local and statewide Democrats, he’s actually got a pretty decent chance of winning. Tallahassee to the White House. Let that sink in.

As the Governor’s decision draws nearer, the amount of attention focussed on our fair city will multiply dramatically. You may have already noticed that the number of national stories being filed from Tallahassee has increased steadily this year. This added scrutiny will only increase once an official announcement is made.

That means that every media outlet in the world will be looking for stories that touch the governor right here at home. Every relationship will be analyzed and written about. Anything clickable will be used to garner attention or shape a narrative. It’s a level of political show business that our community is unaccustomed to and likely unprepared for.

If recent trends hold, we can expect a lot more spotlight on Tallahassee soon. Consider the global reach of the Tallahassee Classical story. Think about the made-for-twitter spectacle of political leaders being arrested for protesting at City Hall. Even the investigation into our School Superintendent for political leanings on the job has the potential to go viral. Surely there’s much more to come.

Tallahassee has enjoyed a nearness to the Presidency a few times in our history, but never anything like what lies ahead. Governor Bush was the son and brother of Presidents. He eventually ran for that office but wasn’t a resident of Tallahassee and never really felt close to winning. Governors Graham and Askew also made brief runs, but long after they were in the Governor’s mansion. None of those flirtations can compare to the opportunity now facing Governor Desantis.

While there’s still a long way to go until November 2024, consider this – Ron Desantis has the second highest level of support in all polling for the republican nomination. No other candidates are even close to the frontrunner and said frontrunner just got handed a 34 count indictment by a grand jury in New York. Second place is starting to look pretty good.

It’s hard to say what the recent news about the former President’s legal troubles will mean for the campaign, but having a criminal trial a month before the Iowa caucuses isn’t really ideal. There’s further indication that other more serious legal battles are looming. Meanwhile, Governor Desantis is keeping his powder dry while building the foundation for his campaign.

Which brings me back to the point. There’s a real chance that the Desantis family will soon move from 700 N Adams Street to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Along with them will come an army of consultants, strategists, staff members, and donors who also call our city home. With those possibilities come both excitement and uncertainty.

As the campaign mechanisms begin to turn, the media microscope fixated on Tallahassee will become more magnified by the day. While some close to the governor will be thinking about how to win in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, the media will be watching what happens right here in our hometown. Everything will be fair game and stories will almost certainly get warped as they find their way across the internet and into our national conversation. If you haven’t stopped to ponder that reality, now would be a good time to do so.

There’s a lot of good that could come from having our neighbor find his way to the White House. Putting party lines aside, having hundreds of connections to the presidency is a great way to accelerate growth and opportunities for our community. Hell, we could even have a Presidential Library here someday!

While there are a couple hundred million votes between here and there, it’s important that we realize the role our community will play in the story of 2024. Regardless of how our neighbor fairs in the race, the place he calls home and the people who live here will be an important part of that journey. What happens here today could soon be on the front page of every paper on earth. It’s going to be a long campaign, and like it or not, we’re all a part of the story.