A media report on Wednesday appeared to indicate that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is making new moves regarding a potential challenge to former President Donald Trump for the 2024 GOP presidential nominee.
NBC News reports that Ron DeSantis’ team has approached six Florida Republicans to discourage them from endorsing former President Trump in the GOP primary. This move follows several high-profile Florida congressional members endorsing Trump.
Over the past six weeks, Trump has received endorsements from several individuals, including Matt Gaetz, Anna Paulina Luna, Cory Mills, and Byron Donalds. However, according to insiders, Donalds’ endorsement was the tipping point. Now, it seems that DeSantis’ team is working to stop a potential chain reaction of endorsements, the outlet reported.
As per the report, the calls made to Florida Republicans serve two objectives. The first is to hinder any future endorsement announcements of Trump, and the second is to arrange a conversation between the Congress member and DeSantis.
The report noted further:
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political operation has started calling Republican members of the Florida congressional delegation in an effort to consolidate support after four members publicly backed Donald Trump in his 2024 presidential bid. Sources with four of the six members contacted by DeSantis’ team shared the outreach with NBC News; each requested anonymity to confirm the calls.
The efforts by the governor’s team started after Trump picked up the backing of Rep. Byron Donalds, who has been a DeSantis ally.
Since Donalds came out for Trump, DeSantis’ team has called at least six members of Florida’s congressional delegation, asking that they hold off on making any endorsements in the near future. The members called by DeSantis’ team are: Reps. Aaron Bean, Vern Buchanan, Kat Cammack, Mario Diaz-Balart, Laurel Lee and Greg Steube.
NBC has stated that Ryan Tyson, a veteran GOP pollster, has taken the lead in this effort. Tyson has supposedly contacted the Florida Republicans to set up conversations between them and DeSantis personally.
“There is clearly some angst from the DeSantis camp that so many members of the state’s congressional delegation are throwing their support behind Trump,” a GOP consultant told NBC.
“Gaetz going with Trump is one thing, but Byron’s endorsement of the former president undoubtedly rattled some cages,” the source added.