DeSantis is among 10 finalists for the Person of the Year honor, which was awarded last year to entrepreneur Elon Musk, the world's richest man. TIME plans to announce the winner on Wednesday.
DeSantis' strategy: Gov. Ron DeSantis turns Florida into GOP education laboratory with focus on race, LGBTQ issues
DeSantis rocketed into the national spotlight during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and hasn't left the stage since, positioning himself as a potential presidential contender and one of the most popular Republicans in the country.
The midterms elections increased talk of DeSantis as the future of the GOP after he won in a blowout by 19 percentage points even as the red wave didn't materialize nationally.
In addition to DeSantis, the Person of the Year nominees include Chinese President Xi Jinping, former U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Musk again, gun safety advocates, protesters in Iran and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Former President Donald Trump didn't make the list.
DeSantis is widely considered to be Trump's most formidable potential competitor for the GOP presidential nomination after pushing polices that have electrified the GOP base.
Follow Herald-Tribune Political Editor Zac Anderson on Twitter at @zacjanderson. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis up for TIME Person of the Year 2022