GOP Lawmaker Switches Endorsement From DeSantis to Trump After Campaign Launch

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

After the Florida governor’s rocky campaign debut on Twitter Spaces on Wednesday, a state Republican who had previously backed Ron DeSantis revealed she was throwing her support to former President Donald Trump.

According to the Tampa Free Press, New Hampshire State Representative Sandra Panek stated on Thursday, “I am hereby transferring my allegiance to President Donald J. Trump after being less than thrilled with Ron DeSantis’s official statement last night.

“We can’t expect someone to run the country if they can’t properly run their own campaign launch. The stakes are simply too great in 2024 to take a chance on someone as unreliable as DeSantis — we need a proven winner like President Trump to take back the White House and Make America Great Again!” she added.

In the meantime, Juliet Harvey-Bolia, a state representative from New Hampshire, switched her “dual endorsement” of Trump and DeSantis to just Trump.

“I’m proud to announce my full endorsement for President Trump, and only Trump. He’ll keep us out of war and prosperous as he has in the past. Ron DeSantis will make a great candidate in 2028. I expect Republicans will unite behind President Trump.”

Trump has continuously been ahead of all of his competitors in GOP primary polls for months, but DeSantis has routinely come the closest.

Along with that, according to Politico, the governor’s political advisors “detailed the path forward for the Florida governor in the Republican presidential primary — and brushed aside bad headlines surrounding his rocky campaign launch the night before,” adding:

Appearing before a private gathering of around 150 donors at the Four Seasons Hotel, three top DeSantis lieutenants — Ryan Tyson, Sam Cooper and Jason Johnson — argued that the governor remained poised throughout a malfunction-plagued appearance on Twitter Spaces, where he unveiled his candidacy in a conversation with billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.

They said DeSantis had a clear path to defeat former President Donald Trump, and added their belief that Florida would emerge as a key state that could help to determine the outcome of the nomination contest, according to two people present for the presentation.

A review of polling data from four states with significant early primary elections—Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada—was done by DeSantis’ team of advisers. According to their claims, the governor received higher approval ratings in each of these states than Trump, the site reported.

They contended that Trump’s present lead in the polls was inflated by Republican supporters’ compassion as a result of his arrest in New York for paying hush money to a pornstar, and that this advantage would eventually disappear. They underlined that even while the former president would probably keep roughly 35 percent of the vote in a primary, a sizable chunk of the remaining 65 percent of the vote would still be open to DeSantis.

The DeSantis campaign emphasized that Florida is a winner-take-all state when it comes to delegate distribution, according to the two people. They underlined that the state is home to a sizable number of delegates, all of which are given exclusively to the primary winner.

According to Politico, the results of the Florida primary may either result in a clear winner or a disputed convention where contenders would have to fight for delegates.

“They contended that DeSantis’ fundraising strength — a super PAC supporting his candidacy has already boasted raising some $30 million — would ensure that the governor would have the financial wherewithal to remain in the race through the early nomination states and into later delegate-rich contests, such as Florida,” the outlet continued, adding: “Should DeSantis make it to Florida, it could set the stage for a dramatic showdown with Trump, a fellow resident of the state.”


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