Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis received more than 30 endorsements on Friday from Iowa state lawmakers supporting his potential 2024 presidential bid.
The pro-DeSantis super PAC “Never Back Down” announced the 37 endorsements from Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate on Friday, which include Senate President Amy Sinclair and House Majority Leader Matt Windschitl.
“The support in Iowa for Governor Ron DeSantis to jump in the race and be our next President is overflowing – as shown by this historic list, which is the largest number of endorsements from Iowa legislators at this stage of a GOP primary in modern memory,” Never Back Down Communications Director Erin Perrine said in a statement.
“Iowa’s leaders are getting behind DeSantis as the future of the Republican Party. From these endorsements to a record number of RSVPs for Rep. Feenstra’s Family Picnic headlined by the Governor, Iowans are impressed with Governor DeSantis’ record of unapologetic success in Florida and want to see that in the White House. Should DeSantis decide to run for President, it’s clear Iowans will be behind him,” she added.
DeSantis, 44, is slated to hold two events on Saturday in the Hawkeye State, the same day that his top potential GOP primary rival, former President Donald Trump, is also set to hold a rally in Des Moines.
The endorsements, which represent over one-third of the total number of GOP lawmakers in the Iowa legislature, give DeSantis an early leg-up in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.
However, not since 2000 has the Republican winner of the Iowa caucus – in a contested cycle – gone on to be the party’s standard bearer.
Sinclair, the top Republican woman in the Iowa Legislature, known for her conservative positions on education and abortion, told the Des Moines Register that DeSantis is “head and shoulders” above all the other potential GOP candidates.
In an interview, she said DeSantis stands “head and shoulders” above the rest of the field, and called the choice “an easy endorsement for me.”
“He’s proven that he can do this work. He’s proven that he can get reelected and can continue to do that work even in the face of opposition. And I can’t think of a better person to serve as our president and really, honestly move America forward,” she told the outlet.
Windschitl, the second-highest ranking Republican in the Iowa House, told the Des Moines Register that he views DeSantis as a forward looking leader that has “proven” he has what it takes to be president.
“We need a leader that’s looking forward towards the future, not a leader that’s looking in the rearview mirror and potentially going to be vindictive towards other people,” he said. “We need somebody that’s accountable to the people that has proven in their state that they can do this job and take that same prosperity and spread it throughout America.”
Trump, 76, leads DeSantis by double digits in most recent 2024 GOP primary polling, however, when matched up against President Biden, the Florida governor performs better than the former president in some surveys.
A WPA intelligence survey released last month found Trump losing the popular vote to Biden by an average of 3.1%, while DeSantis would defeat the incumbent by an average of 1.2%.