Ron DeSantis wife, Casey DeSantis, just started campaigning alongside him in key states. Here's a timeline of their relationship

2006: Ron DeSantis and Casey Black met on a golf course at the University of North Florida.

Ron and Casey DeSantis in May 2021.
Ron DeSantis and Casey DeSantis at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida, in May 2021.Sam Greenwood/R&A/R&A via Getty Images

At the time, Casey worked as a news anchor for WJXT, Channel 4, in Jacksonville. DeSantis had graduated from Harvard Law School in 2005 and worked as a JAG (Judge Advocate General's Corps) officer in the US Navy.

"I kept looking over my shoulder because I wanted the bucket of balls that somebody had left because my swing was so terrible," Casey told First Coast News in 2018. "I needed as much practice as I could possibly get. As I'm looking over behind me, Ron is over there. He thinks I'm looking at him. I was really looking at the balls. Long story short we started to talk and that's how we met."

DeSantis recalled their meeting in his 2023 memoir, "The Courage to Be Free: Florida's Blueprint for America's Revival," calling it "my life's most fortuitous moment."

"There was no way I was leaving that driving range without asking her on a date," he wrote.

2007: DeSantis was deployed to Iraq as a lawyer for SEAL Team One a year after he and Casey started dating.

Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis.Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Insider's Kimberly Leonard reported that DeSantis called into WJXT to surprise Casey while he was stationed abroad in Iraq.

During a speaking engagement in Iowa in March 2023, DeSantis spoke about planning his proposal while serving in Iraq.

"I told myself as soon as I get back from Iraq I'm proposing and I'm going to ask her to marry me, and if you know my wife, that was not a very difficult judgment for me to make," he said.

September 26, 2009: Ron and Casey DeSantis wed at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Ron DeSantis and wife Casey DeSantis
Ron DeSantis and Casey DeSantis leave the stage after a debate with Democrat Andrew Gillum at Broward College in October 2018 in Davie, Florida.Wilfredo Lee-Pool/Getty Images

Insider's Kimberly Leonard reported that the couple exchanged vows at the Grand Floridian's wedding pavilion, a chapel overlooking Cinderella Castle and the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney World. The reception was held at Epcot's Italy Isola, in a nod to the couple's Italian heritage.

Their choice of venue is ironic considering the Florida governor's recent feud with Disney over the Parental Rights in Education Act. Dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill by critics, it bans instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade. After DeSantis signed the bill into law in March, Disney, which has championed gay rights since the 1990s, said it would work toward its repeal. In response, DeSantis asked the legislature to send him a bill stripping Disney of its self-governing status starting in June 2023.

In an interview with SiriusXM Patriot radio that aired February 27, DeSantis acknowledged that their Disney World wedding ended up being "kind of ironic," according to a transcript and recording shared with Insider.

"We never would have thought that how many years later we would be tussling with Disney in a political office," he said. "But life can be unpredictable."

September 2011: DeSantis dedicated his book "Dreams From Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the Age of Obama" to his wife.

Left: The cover of Ron DeSantis' book. Right: The dedication, which reads "To Casey."
Ron DeSantis' book "Dreams From Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the Age of Obama."Amazon ; Kimberly Leonard/Insider

Intended as a takedown of former president Barack Obama and his policies, the book's title is a play on Obama's first memoir, "Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance."

In "Dreams From Our Founding Fathers," DeSantis criticized the "expansion of government on virtually every level" during Obama's presidency, and wrote that Obama had a "palpable cockiness." It's not a memoir — the book's only personal reference is in its dedication, which reads, "To Casey," Insider previously reported.

Few hard copies remain in circulation, but online versions are available.

DeSantis' 2023 memoir, "The Courage to Be Free: Florida's Blueprint for America's Revival," features more personal stories about the governor's early life, military service, and marriage to Casey.

January 2013: Casey held the Bible as DeSantis was sworn into the House of Representatives.

Ron DeSantis is sworn into Congress, as his wife Casey DeSantis holds the Bible
John Boehner, then speaker of the House, performs a mock swearing in for Rep. Ron DeSantis in January 2013 as Casey DeSantis holds the Bible.Charles Dharapak/AP

DeSantis was elected to represent Florida's 6th district in the US House of Representatives in 2013. He resigned in 2018 while running for governor of Florida, The Washington Post reported.

November 2016: The couple welcomed their first child, a girl named Madison.

Casey DeSantis with her daughter Madison.
Casey DeSantis with her daughter Madison.Executive Office of the Governor, State of Florida

"Casey and I are so happy to welcome our daughter Madison, who was born 7 lbs, 7 ounces and very healthy," DeSantis posted on his official Facebook page. "Mom and baby are doing great. What a blessing!"

January 2018: While seven months pregnant with their second child, Casey gave an introductory speech at the kickoff rally for DeSantis' campaign for governor of Florida.

Casey DeSantis speaks at an event for Ron DeSantis
Casey DeSantis speaks at a campaign event in November 2018.John McCall/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

In her speech, Casey described her husband as a "man of integrity" and "someone who I've had the pleasure of watching up close, far away, in front of the cameras, behind the cameras, and at home with his daughter and soon-to-be son."

March 2018: Their son, Mason, was born.

Ron DeSantis and Casey DeSantis at a campaign event, each holding one of their children
Casey DeSantis (left) holds son Mason, while Ron DeSantis holds daughter Madison.Executive Office of the Governor, State of Florida

"Casey and I are blessed to welcome our son Mason Joseph DeSantis. 8lbs, 4oz and very strong! Both baby and mom are doing great," he wrote on Twitter.

July 2018: Casey appeared in an ad highlighting Donald Trump's endorsement of her husband.

Casey DeSantis looks on as Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump shake hands
Donald Trump greets Ron DeSantis as Casey DeSantis looks on during a campaign rally in October 2018.Joe Raedle/Getty Images

In the ad, Casey touted him as not only a candidate backed by President Donald Trump, but an "amazing dad," Insider's Cheryl Teh reported.

The video showed DeSantis encouraging his daughter, Madison, to "build the wall" by stacking toy bricks, reading "The Art of the Deal" to son Mason, and teaching Madison to read the words "Make America Great Again" from a Trump campaign sign.

"I think a lot of people looked at it, and they thought it was funny. They saw the humor," Casey said in a 2018 interview with WJXT, her former news station. "You have to understand, in context, perspective, when this ad was coming out, there was $17 million in negative attack ads coming out against Ron. False, fake terrible attack ads. So how did we respond? With humor. We had some fun, and I think a lot of people got the joke."

January 2019: Casey held the Bible (and Mason) as DeSantis was sworn in as governor of Florida.

Ron DeSantis is sworn in as governor of Florida
Ron DeSantis is sworn in as Florida Governor as his wife Casey DeSantis and son Mason look on in January 2019.Lynne Sladky/AP

The couple opted not to hold the traditional inaugural parade after the swearing-in ceremony. Instead, they held their son Mason's baptism at the governor's mansion with water they collected from the Sea of Galilee on a trip to Israel, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The Tampa Bay Times also reported that the cleaning crew at the governor's mansion accidentally threw out the leftover water from the baptism, which they had kept in an unlabeled water bottle.

"We're not used to having people pick up for us," DeSantis said while visiting Boca Raton a few weeks later. "I think the folks who clean didn't realize what it was."

March 2020: Their third child, a daughter named Mamie, was born.

Ron DeSantis and Casey DeSantis with their children
Casey and Ron DeSantis with their children Mamie (left), Mason (center), and Madison (right).Executive Office of the Governor, State of Florida

"Ron and I are beyond blessed to welcome our new baby girl, Mamie to the world," Casey posted on Twitter. "At 7 lbs 4 oz she was the smallest of the bunch, but she is already holding her own. Madison and Mason are so excited for their new baby sister!"

October 2021: DeSantis announced that Casey had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Casey DeSantis stands in front of the flag of Florida with a serious expression
Casey DeSantis in January 2019.Wilfredo Lee, File/AP

"As the mother of three young children, Casey is the centerpiece of our family and has made an impact on the lives of countless Floridians through her initiatives as First Lady," DeSantis said in a statement. "As she faces the most difficult test of her life, she will not only have my unwavering support but the support of our entire family, as well as the prayers and well wishes from Floridians across our state. Casey is a true fighter, and she will never, never, never give up."

March 2022: DeSantis shared a video announcing that after treatment and surgery, Casey had been declared cancer-free.

Casey and Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis kisses his wife Casey DeSantis at a press conference in May 2022.Joe Raedle/Getty Images

"All of you who have given thoughts and prayers to my family and my wife, thank you," he said in the video released by the Governor's Press Office. "It's lifted her spirits and made a tremendous difference. For all the women out there who are going through breast cancer right now — you can overcome this. I know it's very difficult, but my wife is proof positive, and this is the exact type of news we had hoped for. She still has more to do, but I'm confident she's going to make a full recovery."

October 2022: Casey appeared in an emotional ad for DeSantis' reelection campaign sharing how her husband cared for her and her family during cancer treatments.

The DeSantis campaign released a new ad on October 10, 2022, featuring Florida first lady Casey DeSantis.
The DeSantis campaign's ad featuring Florida first lady Casey DeSantis.Courtesy DeSantis campaign

The ad, which the DeSantis campaign told Insider's Kimberly Leonard was unscripted, was released on the one-year anniversary of Casey's diagnosis.

"When I was diagnosed with cancer and I was facing the battle for my life, he was the dad who took care of my children when I couldn't," she said in the ad. "He was there to pick me off of the ground when I literally could not stand. He was there to fight for me when I didn't have the strength to fight for myself."

November 2022: DeSantis called Casey "the greatest first lady in all 50 states" in his reelection victory speech.

Republican gubernatorial candidate for Florida Ron DeSantis with his wife Casey DeSantis and children Madison, Mason and Mamie, waves to the crowd during an election night watch party at the Convention Center in Tampa, Florida, on November 8, 2022.
Ron DeSantis, his wife Casey DeSantis, and their children walk onstage to celebrate his reelection in November 2022.Giorgio Viera/ AFP via Getty Images

In his victory speech, DeSantis thanked Casey for "being a great wife, giving unwavering support, being a tremendous mother to our three young children, and serving as an example for women throughout this state, especially going through the battle of cancer."

"She is remarkable," he added.

January 2023: DeSantis was sworn in as Florida's governor for a second time, accompanied by Casey and their children.

Ron DeSantis and Casey DeSantis at Ron DeSantis' second inauguration as governor of Florida in 2023
Ron DeSantis waves as he arrives with his wife, Casey, and their children Mason, Madison, and Mamie during his inauguration ceremony in Tallahassee, Florida, in January 2023.Lynne Sladky/AP

Casey appeared to channel first ladies Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Melania Trump with her outfit choice at DeSantis' second inauguration as Florida's governor.

Casey attended the swearing-in ceremony wearing a mint-green Alex Perry cape dress that retails for $2,600 with white gloves and silver earrings. Her outfit appeared similar to the ensemble that Kennedy Onassis wore to her daughter Caroline's wedding in 1986, and it was also reminiscent of Melania Trump, who often wore the same silhouette.

After the inauguration, she held a "A Toast to One Million Mamas" at the Governor's Mansion in recognition of the 1.1 million women she mobilized in support of her husband, Insider's Kimberly Leonard reported.

February 2023: DeSantis released his second book, "The Courage to Be Free: Florida's Blueprint for America's Revival," with a nod to Casey in the dedication.

Ron and Casey DeSantis in Florida
Ron DeSantis and Casey DeSantis at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida, in December 2022.David Cannon/Getty Images for The Match

Insider's Kimberly Leonard reported that the book's dedication reads: "To Madison, Mason, and Mamie: Remember to always listen to your mother."

May 2023: In an interview with the New York Post, Casey said that DeSantis "has a God-given gift."

Casey DeSantis speaks at an event in South Carolina as Ron DeSantis looks on.
Ron DeSantis and Casey DeSantis, speak to a crowd at the North Charleston Coliseum in April 2023 in North Charleston, South Carolina.Sean Rayford/Getty Images

DeSantis appeared to be laying the groundwork for a 2024 presidential run with visits to South Carolina in April and Iowa in May. By the end of May, he made his White House bid official.

Casey told the New York Post she intends to help him however she can.

In the interview, Casey praised her husband's "intellect and discipline," and said that DeSantis is "the real deal, in the fight for the right reasons."

"I will move mountains to help him because he's a good guy who is doing it right," she said.

Casey has been appearing alongside her husband on the campaign trail, in a move intended to appeal to suburban women voters, especially moms.

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