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Ron DeSantis to campaign for Trump-backed candidates in Arizona, Ohio and Pennsylvania

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is hitting the campaign trail for several GOP candidates across the country who won their primary elections after being endorsed by Donald Trump.

The popular Republican official made a name for himself among conservatives for his opposition to the Biden administration on COVID-19 mandates and his Parental Rights In Education bill, which critics have dubbed ‘Don’t Say Gay.’

Now, he’s testing that influence in the key battleground states of Ohio, Arizona, New Mexico and Pennsylvania in a series of rallies held by Turning Point Action titled ‘Unite and Win.’ 

DailyMail.com obtained a copy of Turning Point Action’s press release confirming the events. DeSantis’ participation was first revealed by Fox.

It adds to speculation that DeSantis could be eyeing a future White House bid – as multiple early GOP voter polls show him close to and even surpassing the former president as the preferred 2024 candidate.

And in all but one of the states scheduled, DeSantis will be campaigning alongside Republicans who won tough primaries thanks, in part, to Trump’s support.

In Arizona, DeSantis will appear on August 14 with GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters and gubernatorial hopeful Kari Lake. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is hitting the 2022 midterm campaign trail outside of his state for the first time next week with multiple rallies in key battleground states, held by Turning Point Action

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is hitting the 2022 midterm campaign trail outside of his state for the first time next week with multiple rallies in key battleground states, held by Turning Point Action

Both had their primary elections on Tuesday last week, but Lake was only projected as the winner on Friday thanks to a challenge from a Republican businesswoman backed by former Vice President Mike Pence.

DeSantis goes to Pennsylvania and Ohio on August 19 where he’ll speak with GOP gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano and Senate candidate J.D. Vance, respectively.

The Sunshine State governor is also hitting a state where Trump has yet to set foot this year, despite numerous other public appearances across the country as he teases a potential 2024 bid.

New Mexico Republican Rep. Yvette Herrell, who is vying to keep her seat, and gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti will get a boost from DeSantis when he visits their state on August 14.

Trump had remained silent on New Mexico’s 2022 elections even while handing out endorsements at both the federal and state level in places like Arizona and Pennsylvania.

The four rallies appear to be the first time DeSantis is campaigning for a candidate outside of Florida in the 2022 midterm election cycle, though he has made his own appearances at conservative events in Texas and New York this year.  

Turning Point Action founder Charlie Kirk lauded the governor as ‘a model’ for the Republican Party’s future in a statement accompanying the press release on Monday.

‘Gov. DeSantis is America’s Governor and one of the most popular leaders in the country,’ Kirk said.

‘He has become the model for a new conservative movement that is willing to stand on principe and to actually fight on behalf of the values of his voters.’

Kirk said DeSantis had a ‘unique ability to unite conservatives’ around candidates in competitive areas.

After winning his own governor’s race with Trump’s endorsement in 2018, DeSantis’ national appeal among Republicans has some election watchers wondering whether 2024 could bring a heated primary race between the two.

Neither has formally announced any intention of running.

DeSantis' appearances are fueling speculation that he could challenge Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential primary - though neither has formally said they are running

DeSantis' appearances are fueling speculation that he could challenge Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential primary - though neither has formally said they are running

DeSantis’ appearances are fueling speculation that he could challenge Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential primary – though neither has formally said they are running

The popular Florida governor won his seat in 2018 thanks, in part, to an endorsement from Trump (pictured as a House lawmaker at a rally on November 3, 2018)

The popular Florida governor won his seat in 2018 thanks, in part, to an endorsement from Trump (pictured as a House lawmaker at a rally on November 3, 2018)

The popular Florida governor won his seat in 2018 thanks, in part, to an endorsement from Trump (pictured as a House lawmaker at a rally on November 3, 2018)

DeSantis has not yet ruled out a presidential campaign but has on multiple occasions insisted that he’s focused on his re-election bid in Florida this year.

Trump, by contrast, has dropped numerous hints that he’ll mount a third campaign. 

He told New York Magazine last month that he’s already made a decision and is now only weighing whether to make it known before or after the November midterm elections.

The ex-president handily won a straw poll taken at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Texas on Saturday, though DeSantis dominated without Trump in the field. 

Nearly 7 in 10 attendees polled said they want Trump to be the Republican nominee in 2024, while 24 percent said they’d back DeSantis first.

DeSantis got a 65 percent share of support when Trump was not an option, with Donald Trump Jr. trailing at a distant second place with 8 percent.

DeSantis came out ahead of Trump in early voter straw polls in Florida, Wisconsin and in New Hampshire – where the first presidential primary has been held for roughly a century.

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