DeSantis, 44, had backed ex-U.S. ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft for the role but she finished third and Daniel Cameron, the first major-party Black nominee for governor in the state’s history, clinched the nominated.
Cameron, who is also Kentucky’s first-ever Black attorney general, easily triumphed with 47.7 percent of votes cast in a 12-candidate race.
And in a torrid night for the Florida governor his preferred choice to be mayor of Jacksonville Daniel Davis lost to Democrat Donna Deegan.
Daniel Cameron has been a long time supporter of Daniel Trump, making fiery speeches at election rallies over the past four years.
Ron DeSantis’s pick for Kentucky governor finished a distant third in the primary. Kelly Craft served in the Trump administration as US ambassador to the United Nations
Cameron, seen here on Tuesday celebrating his primary win, will now face off against Democratic incumbent Governor Andy Beshear
Kelly Craft, a former Trump administration official, finished a distant third in the Kentucky gubernatorial primary
Donna Deegan defeated DeSantis-backed Republican Daniel Davis to become the first female to be elected mayor of Jacksonville
The former president took to his Truth Social platform to launch another broadside at DeSantis, who is yet to officially declare his intention to run for the White House in 2024.
‘The DeSanctimonious backed candidate (in Kentucky) came in a distant third,’ the real estate mogul wrote, using his regular nickname for his one-time ally. ‘Ron’s magic is gone!’
Cameron, 37, will face a tough fight in November against Democratic incumbent Andy Beshear, who easily won his own primary with as much as 91 percent of ballots cast.
The race is being seen as a bellwether for the 2024 presidential and congressional elections where Republicans want to capitalize on the unpopularity of President Joe Biden and the Democrats.
Cameron succeeded Beshear as attorney general in 2019 and mounted a slew of legal challenges against Covid-era restrictions.
A one-time aide to GOP US Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, Cameron’s victory will play into Trump’s efforts to solidify his lead in the presidential primary.
The so-called ‘super political action committee’ that is raising money to back Trump’s third run for the presidency said Cameron’s win was proof of the former president’s continued hold over the GOP.
‘President Trump is the leader of the Republican Party. The results in Kentucky’s Republican gubernatorial primary tonight reaffirm that. Republican voters stand with President Trump, not Ron DeSantis,’ Make America Great Again Inc. spokesperson Alex Pfeiffer said.
‘It’s time to unite around Donald Trump. Voters know that President Trump has their interests in mind when he endorses a candidate, not the interests of the consultant class,’ he added.
The one-time political allies now look set to slug it out in a bitter campaign to seize the Republican presidential nomination
Polls suggest that DeSantis is trailing the runaway frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination by a huge margin.
Trump is ahead by as much as 43 percentage points, a Morning Consult poll showed on Tuesday, with 61 percent of voters intending to back him compared to 18 percent for the Florida governor.
That is despite the 76-year-old’s mounting legal woes that include paying hush money to a porn star over an alleged affair, suspected election tampering and the discovery of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home.
But the ex-commander-in-chief received a boost on Monday when a report by Special Counsel John Durham slammed the FBI’s so-called ‘Russiagate’ probe.
Durham said the investigation should never have been started due to a lack of concrete evidence and ‘a lack of analytical rigor’ in assessing the claims.
DeSantis has not yet formally declared he is running, but he is expected to make an announcement by the end of this month.
He also been locked in a so-called ‘war on woke’ with Disney after the animation and theme park giant slammed his ‘Don’t Say Gay’ legislation.
The fight began last year after the firm publicly opposed a state law that bans classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades.
DeSantis is facing a legal challenge in the courts after he created an oversight board for the Disney World governing district that is made up of members that he appointed.
While DeSantis has risen in the national GOP ranks due to his pandemic response in Florida, the governor has recently been sliding in 2024 presidential polling.
He even obtained an early bump that saw him even beating out Trump on occasion.
The winner of any Republican primary would almost certainly go up against incumbent Joe Biden, raising the prospect of a 2020 rematch with Trump.
Only no-hopers Robert F Kennedy Jr., an anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist, and self-help author Marianne Williamson have declared an intention to stand in the Democratic primaries.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk