TALLAHASSEE — Under cloudy skies and a chance of rain, Ron DeSantis will take the oath of office Tuesday for his second term as the 46th governor of Florida.
The governor is expected to appear alongside his wife and be sworn in with Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, who four years ago was first elected the highest-ranking Hispanic woman in Florida history.
The two-day affair is organized by a group of former campaign staffers that call themselves Team DeSantis, along with the Republican Party of Florida. Neither have publicly released a schedule of events. The public-facing website lists the official swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the Old Capitol at noon. The theme of the event mirrors the governor’s campaign slogan: “The Free State of Florida.”
Despite the absence of public information, the Times/Herald has confirmed that the events begin Monday night with an exclusive candlelight dinner at the newly completed Student Union at Florida State University. Donors are asked to pay $50,000 to $1 million for special access packages that include tickets to the dinner, VIP seats for the inauguration and tickets to the black-tie inaugural ball Tuesday, according to an invitation first reported by Politico.
Members of the public are invited only to the inauguration. The organizers asked people to register for free general admission tickets in advance, show ID to pick them up and be in position on the lawn of the Old Capitol between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Tuesday for the event, which begins by 11 a.m.
Visitors are asked to park 2 miles away at a local mall, where shuttle buses will transport an undisclosed number of people. Tallahassee police are closing nearby roads for much of the day.
“We are not releasing any information until after the event,” said Lindsey Curnutt, spokesperson for the organizing committee.
DeSantis has jettisoned the traditional inaugural parade, as well as the prayer breakfast with religious leaders. Instead, first lady Casey DeSantis will host a “Toast to One Million Mamas” at the Governor’s Mansion after the inauguration. The invitation-only event is a hat tip to the conservative “Moms for Liberty” group, the culture warriors who helped the governor elevate his message shunning mask mandates in public schools, banning classroom conversations about gender and electing conservatives to school boards throughout the state.
Get insights into Florida politics
Subscribe to our free Buzz newsletter
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.Explore all your options
The evening will conclude with an inaugural ball at the Donald J. Tucker Civic Center, an invitation-only event that was often used as a fundraising opportunity for governors before him.
However, DeSantis, who shattered fundraising records for a Florida gubernatorial candidate when his political committee raised more than $206 million, is reportedly shunning some contributions. The New York Times reported that the governor was considering rejecting donations from major tech companies, whom he has often accused of restricting speech in their efforts to slow the spread of conspiracy theories and quiet misinformation.
Unlike four years ago, when the inaugural committee released the list of donors as well as the schedule of events, this year none of the donors or their donations have been disclosed.