Ronny & Nancy of Tallahassee

Ron and Casey
Florida Governor Ron and First Lady Casey DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Tina Nguyen
June 22, 2022

A few months back, a G.O.P. operative was telling me about an old employee of his who had sought a job with Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor on a meteoric rise through the MAGA stratosphere, with all vectors pointed at a White House run in either ‘24 or ‘28 depending on the smoke signals emanating from Mar-a-Lago. The employee had already been through multiple rounds of interviews, and passed background checks. Having been deemed worthy of a meeting with the principal, he was called in for one last evaluation. To his surprise, this final interview was not with Ron DeSantis. It was with his wife, Casey.  

When I mentioned that anecdote to a G.O.P. consultant, he remarked that he had heard similar stories about the “DeSantii” interview process—not just for potential employees, but for vendors and contractors, too. Sometimes, both Ron and Casey would run the interview. Sometimes, it was just Ron. If he wasn’t available, Casey was “an acceptable substitute,” this person told me. Every single time, he added, the couple would request piles of advance documentation that could impress a job candidate or scare them off entirely, but at the very least convey the magnitude of the position in question. Every dollar that the job candidate proposed in their budget needed to be accounted for in that interview, and every motive needed to be uncovered.