DeSantis hosts early morning event in Ankeny despite blizzard conditions

Photo Courtesy of WEBN

By Sofia Mendes, WEBN

Florida Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis spoke at the Northside Conservatives Club meeting in Ankeny, Iowa early Friday morning despite unrelenting winter weather. 

DeSantis was introduced by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds who commended attendees for their energy given the weather conditions and encouraged extra safety precautions for their commutes home. 

“If you like what we’re doing in Iowa, you’re going to love Ron’s vision for this country,” said Reynolds as she welcomed DeSantis to the stage. 

“I think the choice is simple. Trump’s running on his issues, Haley’s running on the donors’ issues, I’m running on your issues,” said DeSantis beginning with a stump speech underscoring his most notable policy positions. 

He also highlighted the motivation behind his candidacy stating, “Right now we’re on a trajectory to be the first generation of Americans to leave to our kids and grandkids an America less prosperous and less free than the one we inherited.” 

Welcoming audience questions, DeSantis had the opportunity to clarify his stances on education emphasizing the importance of universal school choice and identifying teacher’s unions as one of the biggest problems within the American school system. 

“They [teacher’s unions] are very partisan. They’re using schools to try to promote agendas and indoctrination. They don’t put the kids’ interests first,” stated DeSantis. “I think liberating people from school systems that are controlled by those groups is really important for the future of this country.” 

A second audience member continued the conversation regarding education providing DeSantis with a platform to discuss DEI curriculum in the classroom. “It [DEI] should actually stand for discrimination, exclusion, and indoctrination. It has no place in our public institutions,” stressed DeSantis. “We will end the DEI cartel once and for all.” 

This morning’s event follows the publication of a recent Suffolk University Political Research Center poll that places Nikki Haley ahead of DeSantis by 7 points earning the support of 20% of likely caucusgoers. The poll had DeSantis with the support of 13% of respondents. Prior, polls have had the two candidates battling for second place

However, all eyes remain on Monday’s weather. In the wake of blizzard conditions, Nikki Haley transitioned to virtual town hall events, and DeSantis’s next two events were canceled by the Never Back Down super PAC due to “unsafe weather conditions.”