Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has announced her endorsement of Ron DeSantis for president in the 2024 Republican primary, providing a significant boost to his campaign. This endorsement comes as DeSantis faces the challenge of demonstrating progress and gaining ground against Donald Trump.
One notable aspect of this endorsement is that Reynolds will be breaking with the long-standing Iowa tradition of remaining neutral before the caucuses that mark the beginning of the Republicans' nomination calendar in January. Reynolds, who is widely respected within the GOP, has chosen to throw her support behind DeSantis, highlighting his potential as an alternative to Trump.
The announcement of Reynolds' endorsement is expected to take place during a rally in Des Moines on Monday. While she had previously introduced DeSantis at political events in Iowa and appeared with Florida first lady Casey DeSantis, her support had not been publicly declared. However, Reynolds often emphasized their shared policy priorities and accomplishments, including their collaboration on a bill that banned abortion at six weeks of pregnancy.
Reynolds, who is currently serving her second term as governor, had previously left open the possibility of endorsing a candidate in the upcoming caucuses on January 15th. It's worth noting that Reynolds also introduced Trump at an event back in March, but the former president has criticized her for considering an endorsement before the caucuses and has attempted to claim credit for her successful bid for governorship.
This significant endorsement from Governor Kim Reynolds gives Ron DeSantis a significant advantage in Iowa and further solidifies his status as a viable contender against Donald Trump in the Republican primary for the 2024 presidential election.
Kim Reynolds' Endorsement Draws Criticism from Trump Campaign
The Trump campaign wasted no time in criticizing Kim Reynolds after she endorsed Ron DeSantis for president. In an emailed statement, they accused Reynolds of lacking ambition and going back on her promise to remain neutral in the race. However, the campaign dismissed the impact of her endorsement on the race, as they believe Trump is the clear favorite to win in Iowa.
DeSantis' Growing Presence in Iowa
As the leadoff contest in Iowa approaches in just 10 weeks, Ron DeSantis is actively working to position himself as a viable alternative to Trump. His campaign has been making significant efforts in the state, with his Tallahassee-based campaign headquarters sending about 20 staff members to Iowa a month ago. In addition, Never Back Down, the super political action committee supporting DeSantis, has been reaching out to potential caucus participants since the summer.
A Visit to Republican-Heavy Crawford County
Continuing his campaign efforts, DeSantis recently spoke to a group of 50 GOP activists in Denison, located in Republican-heavy Crawford County. This visit marked his 86th county visit out of the 99 counties in Iowa. Desantis aims to visit every county in his mission to gain support from conservative western Iowa.
Reynolds' Popularity within the Party
Despite the criticism from the Trump campaign, Kim Reynolds remains popular within the party. Her endorsement of DeSantis is significant, especially considering her accomplishments such as signing a school choice bill and a strict abortion ban earlier this year.
In conclusion, with just 10 weeks left until the leadoff contest in Iowa, Ron DeSantis continues to make strides in his campaign, while facing criticism from the Trump campaign regarding Kim Reynolds' endorsement. It remains to be seen how this endorsement will impact the race and if DeSantis can emerge as a strong alternative to Trump in the eyes of Iowa voters.