Skip to content

11 Things You Didn't Know About Casey DeSantis

Unveiling Florida's influential first lady.

State first ladies are always subjected to public scrutiny—some more than others, depending on how much of a mark their husbands are having on the national conversation. By that metric, this is the summer of the first lady of Florida, Casey DeSantis. On May 24, her husband, Ron, announced he's running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, after a year of fiery far-right initiatives—DeSantis has battled with Disney over its rejection of his so-called "Don't Say Gay" law, backed certain books being removed from public schools, and said Florida was the state where "woke goes to die." So who is Casey DeSantis, and what influence does she have over her husband's policies and presentation? Here are 11 things you probably didn't know, according to political experts. 

She Spent 15 Years in Television

Executive Office of the Governor, State of Florida

Before marrying Ron DeSantis in September 2010, Casey was a TV news reporter and anchor in Jacksonville. She also worked for the PGA Tour as a producer and on-air host and for a soft-news Jacksonville daily talk show that covered local events and incorporated paid segments from local businesses.

She Had a Breast Cancer Battle

Cancer Treatment Drugs

In October 2021, Casey DeSantis was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer at age 41. She said she had insisted on a mammogram, not after discovering a lump, but because "something didn't feel right" internally." She reportedly had surgery and five months of chemotherapy to treat it. On March 3, 2022, Ron DeSantis issued a statement about his wife's condition. "After going through both treatment and surgery for breast cancer, she is now considered cancer free," he said. "She still has more to do, but I'm confident she's going to make a full recovery."

She Has Joined the Culture War

Executive Office of the Governor, State of Florida

On Jul. 13, longtime Washington reporter and columnist Eleanor Clift noted in the Daily Beast that Casey DeSantis had "delivered a hard-right video attacking LGBTQ and trans rights, presenting herself as the lead Mama of 'Mamas for DeSantis.'" 

She Is Reprtedly Her Husband's Key Adviser

Executive Office of the Governor, State of Florida

Clift reported that Casey Desantis is her husband's "No. 1 adviser in a closed circle that seems to play mainly to the Twitter universe." 

It's Been That Way Since the Beginning

Executive Office of the Governor, State of Florida

Casey DeSantis has been a key adviser for her husband since the beginning of his political career in the early 2010s. "She knew his walking path at events, the people he'd stand next to on a stage. She knew his schedule, down to every meeting, call, fundraiser, and congressional vote, because she asked to be copied on every calendar entry," the Washington Post reported on June 18. "She knew the cowboy boots he should wear, even though, at first, he complained that they hurt his feet until a staffer suggested he buy dress shoes instead, at which point he said, 'Casey got them for me,' and that was the end of the conversation about the cowboy boots."

She Is a Part of a Unit

Executive Office of the Governor, State of Florida

"As a unit, Ron-and-Casey, one word, have become one of the most guarded and feared partnerships in politics," the Washington Post says. "In the shifting light, they could have the look of a traditional husband and wife — or of two modern partners, coequals in life and work, a couple in their 40s, next-generation. Often, he deferred to her. And often, she deferred to him."

She Is Very Private

Executive Office of the Governor, State of Florida

After Ron DeSantis won the Florida governor's race in 2018, Casey deactivated her cellphone and didn't give many people her new number, the Washington Post reported. "She had always been exceptionally private. But there were friends and colleagues and people she mentored who didn't hear from her again. 'You're chasing a ghost,' one said."

"It is difficult to find friends or former co-workers in Jacksonville who are still in touch with Casey," the news outlet reported.

She and Ron Don't Socialize

Executive Office of the Governor, State of Florida

"Ron and Casey live as an inner circle of two," the Washington Post reported. They don't take social calls to the mansion, "except for Christmas receptions and Easter egg rolls and the like."

"It's just them," said Javier Manjarres, a journalist at the conservative-leaning Floridian Press, told the news outlet. "They don't have time for girlfriends and guy friends. Ron doesn't go fishing. Maybe he'll go golfing with legislators. But it's not, like, his buddies. That's not a thing with him. And same for her. It doesn't exist."

How Casey Met Ron

Executive Office of the Governor, State of Florida

In 2006, Casey Black met Ron DeSantis at a driving range. He asked her on a date, and she followed him in her car to the nearest place he could find, a Beef 'O' Brady's, a burger-and-wings chain, the Washington Post reported. 

They Were Married at Disney World


Casey was 29, and Ron was 31 when they got married. The ceremony was held at Disney World, in a chapel that is "actually really nice," Ron says now, and really "traditional," and "in fact, you look at our wedding pictures, and you wouldn't know that it was anything out of the ordinary." 

She Reportedly Has Large Office

Casey DeSantis/Facebook

As Florida's first lady, DeSantis tackled a large portfolio and has an unusually large office. "Her predecessor had worked out of the governor's mansion, but Casey took over an office in the Capitol previously reserved for the chief of staff," the Washington Post reported. "It was a large room, big enough for a conference table, and attached directly to the governor's office." The governor was once asked how his wife helped him. His answer: "Messaging." 

Filed Under