Over 100 Former Trump Officials Offer Florida’s Ron DeSantis Their Backing As He Prepares To Launch Presidential Bid

Toby Hazlewood

Group wants to avoid a Trump 'lame-duck' presidency

Donald Trump and Ron DeSantisPhoto byTwitter of MarioNawfal

On May 22, it emerged that a coalition of over 100 former officials associated with the one-term former president - Donald Trump - would be offering their backing to Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis as their preferred candidate to represent the Republican party in the 2024 presidential election.

The news comes around the same time as the Florida governor is expected to finally, formally announce his candidacy for the White House in 2024.

The coalition - the so-called “Eight-Year Alliance” - includes various special counsels and senior advisors who served under Trump, and while many of these are reported to remain supportive of Trump, and proud of the accomplishments from his single term in office, they believe that Florida's DeSantis is the more credible and reliable candidate going forwards.

While DeSantis has remained evasive about whether he would run for the White House, he has been taking steps to build his profile both outside of Florida and on the international stage too.

Ron DeSantis and Donald TrumpPhoto byTwitter of StopGOPFox

A poorly-timed announcement by Team DeSantis?

The timing of his announcement - if it is forthcoming - might seem unfortunate give the recent declaration by the NAACP, who declared that Florida, under DeSantis is:

"...openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals”

However, it could also be argued that there is never an optimum time in politics, and with Trump continuing to be plagued by legal challenges that are underway, and others that are looming, it could just be that news of this latest endorsement is all that DeSantis needs to finally get in the race.

Will Trump change his tune?

There's a sense that Donald Trump will be dismissive of the significance of this latest round of endorsements for DeSantis. While the Florida Governor has picked up various high-profile endorsements from Republicans across the U.S., Trump has taken the lions-share of those in Florida - with Byron Donalds, Matt Gaetz and Cory Mills amongst those to have given Trump their backing.

Opinion polls continue to be a source of comfort (or concern) for both Trump and DeSantis too. While various polls of GOP voters give Trump a decent lead over DeSantis, there can be no doubt that Trump's credibility is being damaged by the various legal challenges mounting against him.

In nearby Georgia, a recent poll predicted that DeSantis would defeat Democratic President Joe Biden head-to-head, while Trump would be defeated by the incumbent.

DeSantis has his own troubles

It may not be all plain-sailing for DeSantis either, in spite of the latest round of defections from Trump's camp. He continues to face backlash against his various recent decisions and newly enacted laws, not least in his ongoing battle with the Disney Corporation as the Florida Republican tries to force them to comply.

While certain of his recently enacted laws - such as the decision to allow permit-less carry of concealed firearms - remain popular with Republican voters, it may take more than the endorsement of a few former-Trump administrators to give DeSantis the edge over Trump.

Time will tell.

Do you think that Ron DeSantis would be a better Republican candidate than Donald Trump, or should he focus on governing Florida? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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