Going into the 2024 Republican primary election, Governor Ron DeSantis has far fewer endorsements under his belt than Donald Trump.
Now that the governor of Florida is officially in the running for the Republican presidential nomination, more lawmakers and key players may back DeSantis.
Just a month before launching his highly anticipated White House bid, DeSantis traveled to Washington, D.C. for meetings on Capitol Hill where he hoped to garner more support before filing paperwork to run for president.
It is unclear whether last month’s trip was successful.
So far, DeSantis has only been able to rack up five endorsements from lawmakers in the House — where he once served before becoming governor of Florida in 2018.
Seven of the 20 House lawmakers in the Florida Republican delegation are already backing Trump in his bid for a second, nonconsecutive term. Only one, so far, has endorsed DeSantis.
There are 56 lawmakers in Congress who endorse Donald Trump, and only five back Florida Governor Ron DeSantis so far
DeSantis officially entered the 2024 Republican primary race despite Trump’s warnings and says it would be “unfair”. Pictured: DeSantis and Trump shake hands at a rally in Florida on October 31, 2018 with Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis at his side
Florida had a previous law in place that prevented state legislators from running for another office without resigning from their current position.
The Florida Legislature’s Republican supermajority passed legislation last month that overturned precedent, clearing the way for DeSantis to launch his presidential bid without being forced to resign as Florida governor.
Before announcing his candidacy Wednesday night, DeSantis garnered public support from Representatives Chip Roy of Texas; Thomas Massie of Kentucky; Laurel Lee of Florida; Bob Good of Virginia; and, most recently, on Tuesday, Rich McCormick of Georgia.
Getting the approval of lawmakers in primary elections is important because the tendencies of those elected in their respective jurisdictions could heavily influence how their constituents vote next year.
In the Senate, former President Trump has nine Republicans backing his 2024 candidacy, while DeSantis has yet to garner any support in the upper house of Congress.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was the first to endorse Trump’s candidacy.
The other senators who followed Graham’s endorsement of Trump are the senses. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma; Eric Schmitt of Missouri; Tommy Tuberville of Alabama; JD Vance of Ohio; Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty, both of Tennessee; Ted Budd of North Carolina; and Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi.
In the House, Trump has amassed 47 endorsements since he launched his presidential bid in mid-November.
Trump’s endorsement of DeSantis in the 2018 Florida gubernatorial primary helped him land a victory
Representative Gooden of Texas is one of the most recent lawmakers to endorse Trump – doing so just moments after meeting DeSantis in Washington, DC last month.
Trump welcomed Gooden and his family to Mar-a-Lago after his endorsement.
Gooden told DailyMail.com earlier this month of his decision to back Trump after meeting with the governor of Florida that if “DeSantis’ day can come, it’s not today.”
The Texas lawmaker brought his wife Alexa and their two children Liam, five, and Milla, three, to meet Trump at his Palm Beach, Fla., estate on May 9.
A person familiar with Gooden’s plans says the congressman intends to serve as a strong DC voice to push for Trump’s re-election.
Besides Trump and DeSantis, there are a few other longer-running Republicans vying for the presidential nomination next year.
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and current South Carolina Senator Tim Scott are both running for the 2024 Republican presidential primary. Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is also in the race.
Conservative media personality Larry Elder and biotech millionaire Vivek Ramaswamy are even more on the periphery of the race.
Haley, who served as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, has one backer – Representative Ralph Norman from her home state of South Carolina.
More Republican lawmakers, politicians and figures are expected to enter the fray in the coming weeks and months, and the primary race is in full swing.
However, most candidates outside of Trump and DeSantis are struggling to win double-digit support in national and regional polls.
Representative Lance Gooden brought his wife and two children to meet Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago on Monday after the Texas Republican endorsed the former president after meeting Ron DeSantis last month. Pictured left to right: Liam Gooden, 5; Representative Lance Gooden; Trump, Milla Gooden, 3; Alexa Gooden
Apart from lawmakers, endorsements from other politicians and key players could affect the main outcome of 2024.
Billionaire Republican donor Peter Thiel has said he would back DeSantis if he makes it to the 2024 general election – but has yet to weigh in on the primary election and may not at all.
Thiel warned DeSantis not to dwell too much on fighting leftist “revivalism,” despite that being a cornerstone of DeSantis’ pre-announcement strategy.
The Governor of Florida has been on a book tour across the country in recent months ahead of his announcement where he shared his Blueprint for America promoting initiatives in his state.
People close to Thiel told Reuters last month that he had no intention of wading through primary election waters in 2024.