His “major policy speech” will cap off Heritage’s two-day annual event on April 21, which will feature scores of prominent conservative speakers and Republican members of Congress. DeSantis is expected to focus on his “Florida Blueprint” conservative policy agenda, according to the foundation.
“Conservatives are craving a bold and visionary leader who gets things done — and that’s exactly what Gov. Ron DeSantis has accomplished in Florida,” Heritage President Kevin Roberts said, per a press release.
The April 20-21 summit will take place at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. That is the same location where the 2023 Conservative Political Action Conference took place. DeSantis skipped CPAC this year, avoiding a split-screen showdown with former President Donald Trump. Instead, he went to the Club for Growth’s annual conference in Palm Beach.
Trump gave the keynote address at Heritage’s leadership summit last year. He is currently the front-runner in the 2024 GOP primary, while DeSantis mulls a run from the sidelines. The Florida governor has polled as Trump’s top potential primary foe, per the RealClearPolitics polling aggregate.
“Heritage recognized Florida as the top state in America for parental rights and school choice, largely because of Gov. DeSantis’s leadership. He’s unafraid to take on woke and powerful corporate interests while putting the values of everyday Floridians first and foremost,” Roberts added.
Prominent guests such as Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) and Fox News host Tucker Carlson are expected to attend the summit. Youngkin will be at a welcome reception at George Washington’s Mount Vernon on Thursday, while Carlson will attend an evening gala on Friday, per the foundation. Additional guests will be revealed over the coming weeks.
The seventh edition of Heritage’s “Mandate for Leadership” will be released at the summit, featuring a 600-page policy prescription for the next conservative administration.
DeSantis’s headline speech will come on the heels of his planned April 14 trip to the early primary state of New Hampshire as he shores up his political profile amid speculation he will mount a 2024 campaign for the presidency.
Earlier this month, he traveled to the early primary state of Iowa, where he promoted his new book, The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Survival. He is also set to visit Nevada and possibly South Carolina over the coming weeks.