Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has stunned GOP with a move that might put him in front of Trump in the presidential race.
He's about to announce the endorsements of more than 30 Iowa state legislators, strengthening him in a state that typically hosts the Republican Party's primaries.
A person familiar with the conversations says DeSantis has been contacting Iowa Republicans over the past two weeks. During those meetings, the governor did not specifically seek their support; instead, the topic centered on Florida and Iowa legislative issues.
But as DeSantis prepares for a potential presidential run, the endorsements provide him with strong political tailwinds.
The overall sum exceeds the amount of support earned by any of the Republican candidates who competed in the 2016 GOP primary and accounts for more than one-third of the Iowa Republican legislative caucus.
Until now, DeSantis has barely been trailing Trump in the polls. This may change soon.
Staggering support for DeSantis
More than a half-dozen party leaders are on the list of people backing DeSantis over Trump
Never Back Down, a super PAC formed to assist a potential DeSantis presidential run, is scheduled to announce the endorsements on Friday. In Iowa, where the strength of a candidate's organization can significantly impact their success in the state's caucus, endorsements are highly sought after.
According to a person familiar with the arrangements, former President Donald Trump's team is anticipated to declare the support of up to 150 county officials and grassroots activists.
Eleven Iowa state legislators have previously endorsed Trump in his presidential bid.
DeSantis has not yet formally launched his presidential campaign, but top Republicans anticipate the official announcement in the last week of May or the first week of June.
Do you want Ron DeSantis to win the Republican primaries?
Leave your comment below and share this story on social media.