Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis
Ron versus Don is on!

Ending months of speculation, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared his presidential candidacy Wednesday, setting up a seismic clash with former President Donald Trump for GOP supremacy.

The graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School formalized his White House bid in a filing with the Federal Election Commission.

A more formal announcement is expected to follow at 6 p.m., when DeSantis is appearing in a Twitter Space with Elon Musk.

DeSantis said last week he feels he has a much better chance than Trump of winning the election, and that "When we say we're going to do something, we do it, and get it done."

He acknowledged he has recently faced criticism, including from other candidates and "two presidents," but voters he has met are on his side.

DeSantis explained how a voter he had met in Iowa had told him: "Trump was somebody, we liked his policies but we didn't like his values. And with you, we like your policies but also know that you share our values," according to the New York Times.

After barely beating Democratic challenger Andrew Gillum in his 2018 gubernatorial race, DeSantis soon shot to national prominence with his unapologetic conservatism and pugnacious style.

The Navy veteran, 44, emerged as a vocal culture war field general, vowing to combat "woke" incursions into public life and passing laws on everything from abortion to the teaching of gender identity in schools.

Marketing Florida as an "oasis of freedom" during the height of the COVID-19 crisis, DeSantis took a softer line on coronavirus restrictions and vaccine mandates for the general public, and concentrated tough lockdown measures on homes for the elderly and vulnerable.

Those decisions, he said, sparked an ongoing population and economic boom as blue-state emigres fled their largely locked-down homes for the Sunshine State.

While his backers expect a polling bump after his declaration, DeSantis still faces a daunting task in supplanting Trump, 76, as party boss.

Most polls show him trailing his rival by at least double digits — but supporters note that the contest is in its early stages and that Trump is mired in legal uncertainty.

The 45th president set his sights on DeSantis months before he actually entered the race, bombarding his former ally as an establishment Republican posing as a maverick.

The governor has thus far opted not to return fire, opting instead to highlight his legislative accomplishments and Florida's Republican renaissance.

DeSantis has touted his 20-point drubbing of Democratic gubernatorial challenger Charlie Crist in November as evidence of his electoral potency, and routinely rips the GOP's "culture of losing."

The governor has also credited his administration with bolstering Florida's Republican rolls by hundreds of thousands of registered voters.

The Floridian is also expected to draw endorsements from key party figures who withheld their support until his official entry into the race.