Candidates for elected officials are always looking for the next endorsement they can use to help bolster their respective political campaigns and fundraising efforts. As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who won his 2018 gubernatorial election after Trump endorsed him, inches closer to announcing his presidential campaign in early May, he and his team have been out trying to mitigate the damage and probable damage that congressional endorsements for former President Trump could bring to his imminent run for President.
But endorsements will not move the voting needle for any Republican candidate for elected office, in any election, unless you are able to garner the nod of approval from former President Donald Trump.
President Trump, as expected, has been soaking up the bulk of Republican members of Congress around the country, but Gov. DeSantis has been able to score a couple of big-name congressional attaboys.
As it was reported, Gov. DeSantis has been reaching out to members of Florida’s congressional delegation in hopes to prevent them from endorsing Trump, Reps. Greg Steube and John Rutherford announced their support for Trump soon after the calls were said to have been made to them.
DeSantis announced his first Florida endorsement this week in Rep. Laurel Lee, who served under DeSantis as Florida’s Secretary of State.
Rep. Lee’s endorsement of DeSantis is a good feather in the Governor’s political hat, adding to the support he has received from Reps. Thomas Massie and Chip Roy.
But while Rep. Lee’s endorsement of DeSantis is considered an expected must-have, what about the other members of the U.S. Congress DeSantis is trying to get to support his presidential campaign?
DeSantis will get some more endorsements around the country, but if he fails to secure more of the Florida delegation, of which several members have served with him in the House of Representatives, will he look weak?
This week, DeSantis flew up to Washington, D.C. to speak to prospective congressional endorsements.
DeSantis, who could be on the verge of having a come-to-Jesus moment with Florida State Lawmakers, didn’t walk away with any endorsements, but that doesn’t matter. The point of the meet-and-greet with lawmakers was to set the tone for his upcoming presidential candidacy.
Again, endorsements usually don’t win elections, but they sure help with momentum and fundraising.
Of the few that DeSantis has identified as a potential endorsement pick-up, those same members are already pivoting to Trump.
Steube was the first, and Rep. Kat Cammack will probably be the next to openly endorse Trump.
Rep. Brian Mast, who has stood with DeSantis on environmental and water issues in Florida, will be endorsing Trump in the coming days, The Floridian has learned.
In looking at the remaining list of Republican federal lawmakers from Florida who haven’t endorsed either men, Trump has a clear advantage.
Reps. Cory Mills, Matt Gaetz, Byron Donalds, and Anna Paulina Luna have already endorsed Trump.
Here are who we believe will endorse, or have been told will endorse Trump:
Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. Reps. Carlos Gimenez, Mario Diaz-Balart, Maria Elvira Salazar, Kat Cammack, Bill Posey, Neal Dunn, Daniel Webster, and Gus Bilirakis.
Here are who we believe will endorse, or have been told will endorse DeSantis:
Reps. Scott Franklin and Aaron Bean.
On the Fence:
Reps. Vern Buchanan and Michael Waltz
DeSantis is expected to announce his run for President in early May, potentially on Sunday, May 3rd.