Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds Endorses Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for President, AP Sources Say
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds plans to endorse Ron DeSantis for president, giving his 2024 campaign a boost against Donald Trump.
In an unexpected turn of events, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is set to endorse Ron DeSantis for president in the upcoming 2024 campaign. This endorsement comes as a significant boost for DeSantis, who has been struggling to gain traction against former President Donald Trump in the Republican primary. Two sources familiar with the matter revealed this information on Sunday.
DeSantis has made Iowa the focal point of his campaign, hoping to position himself as a viable alternative to Trump. Reynolds, who is highly regarded within the GOP, will break from the long-standing tradition of Iowa's governor remaining neutral before the caucuses that mark the beginning of the Republicans' nomination calendar in January.
The sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, shared this news with The Associated Press ahead of a rally in Des Moines on Monday, where Reynolds is expected to make her endorsement official. The Des Moines Register and NBC News were the first to report on this anticipated endorsement.
While Reynolds has previously appeared with DeSantis at political events in Iowa and even stood alongside Florida's First Lady Casey DeSantis, she had not publicly declared her support until now. However, Reynolds often emphasized their shared policy priorities and achievements, including the passing of a bill that banned abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
Reynolds, who is currently serving her second term as governor, had previously left the door open for endorsing a candidate in the Jan. 15 caucuses. She had also introduced Trump at an event in March. However, Trump has accused her of disloyalty for considering an endorsement before the caucuses and has attempted to take credit for her victory as governor.
Unsurprisingly, the Trump campaign swiftly criticized Reynolds' decision. In an emailed statement, they claimed that Reynolds "clearly does not have any ambition for higher office" and accused her of breaking her promise to remain neutral in the race. They also asserted that her endorsement would have no impact on the outcome of the race.
Despite the criticism, Trump remains the favored candidate to win in Iowa. DeSantis, on the other hand, is in direct competition with former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley to establish themselves as a viable alternative to Trump in the leadoff contest, which is just 10 weeks away.
DeSantis has been actively campaigning in Iowa, having sent approximately 20 staff members from his campaign headquarters in Tallahassee to the state. Additionally, the super political action committee supporting him, Never Back Down, has had around two dozen staff members engaging with potential caucus participants since the summer.
Recently, DeSantis addressed a group of 50 GOP activists during a stop in Denison, a Republican stronghold in Crawford County. This visit marked his 86th county visit in Iowa, with the goal of reaching all 99 counties, particularly focusing on conservative western Iowa.
Reynolds' popularity within the party stems from her support of a school choice bill and a strict abortion ban that was passed earlier this year.
In summary, Governor Kim Reynolds' endorsement of Ron DeSantis for president has injected new energy into the 2024 campaign. With Iowa being a crucial battleground, DeSantis hopes to position himself as a viable alternative to Donald Trump. Reynolds' endorsement breaks from tradition and carries significant weight within the GOP. However, Trump's campaign has criticized Reynolds, claiming her endorsement will have no impact on the race. As the caucuses draw closer, DeSantis continues to actively campaign in Iowa, aiming to gain momentum and emerge as a strong contender against Trump.