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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Anthony Man

With the latest endorsement, Trump has support of 11 Florida members of Congress. DeSantis has 1

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — When Congressman Carlos Gimenez endorsed former President Donald Trump this week for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, it gave him the support of 11 of Florida’s 20 Republican representatives.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, who hasn’t yet officially announced his candidacy, has the support of one.

“My support is 100% behind Donald Trump,” said Gimenez, who represents Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

Gimenez, who appeared on the Fox News channel, a preferred source of information for Republican voters, to announce his endorsement, said DeSantis “understands” his decision.

“Look, I think the governor has done a great job in Florida. There’s nothing, I’m not against Governor DeSantis. It’s for President Trump. And so I’m supporting President Trump. Not that I don’t like Governor DeSantis. Again, I think he’s doing a great job as the governor of the state of Florida, but I think President Trump is better suited and better prepared to be president of the United States, better prepared to lead us in the direction that this country needs to go.”

Trump has been courting and rolling out congressional endorsements from his adopted home state and elsewhere. He now has more than 50.

DeSantis has been stepping up his national travel, and is about to embark on a world tour, as he gets closer to his widely expected presidential announcement. DeSantis has three congressional endorsements nationwide.

On Thursday night, Trump hosted supportive members of the Florida delegation at his Mar-a-Lago resort and residence in Palm Beach. After that dinner, Gimenez said, he told his wife they needed to get behind Trump.

The group has grown rapidly in recent days. This week’s endorsers include U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, who represents northern Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties.

“Whether it’s on the battlefield or in the halls of Congress, I’ve spent my life fighting for my community, and I want a president who does the same,” Mast said in a statement Thursday evening. “President Trump fights like hell for the American people, and he’ll fight to get our nation back on the right track after three years of the Left’s best efforts to destroy it.”

When DeSantis, then a member of Congress, formally announced his candidacy for governor at a Boca Raton rally in January of 2018, Mast appeared at the event and endorsed him. “He’s got a fire in his belly like nobody else out there,” Mast said of DeSantis in 2018.

Other Florida congressional endorsers of Trump are Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Byron Donalds, Matt Gaetz, Anna Paulina Luna, Cory Mills, John Rutherford, Greg Steube and Michael Waltz.

So far, the only member of the Florida delegation to endorse DeSantis is first-term U.S. Rep. Laurel Lee from the Tampa Bay area. For almost all of DeSantis’ first term, Lee was his appointee as Florida secretary of state.

“I had the honor of witnessing firsthand his unparalleled leadership under pressure, his character, and his commitment to core conservative principles. His leadership and his vision made Florida a shining beacon of freedom,” Lee said this week in a statement released by a pro-DeSantis super political action committee. “It was my honor to serve in his administration and it is my honor today to endorse him for President of the United States.”


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