Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa has endorsed Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida for president.
Reynolds appeared at a DeSantis campaign rally in Des Moines on Nov. 6 to deliver her highly anticipated endorsement. She was introduced by the Florida governor’s wife, Casey.
Appearing in a pink turtleneck and navy blazer, Reynolds called the DeSantises a “dynamic duo” who “won’t be outworked” before beginning her speech.
“When we look at what is happening to our country, it is almost unrecognizable,” said Reynolds. “Crime is out of control. Terrorists are coming across the border. Over six million illegal immigrants have invaded our homeland. Fentanyl is flooding our streets and killing our children. Government spending is out of control. Inflation is crushing families.”
“If we don’t get this next election right – if we don’t choose right, we are not going to get this country back,” said the Iowa governor. “Not only do we need to elect someone who can win and beat Joe Biden, we need a president who has the skill and resolve to reverse the madness we see every single day.”
“We need someone who will fight and win for you. We need someone who won’t get distracted but will stay disciplined – who puts this country first and not himself,” she continued.
“That leader is Ron DeSantis,” said Reynolds.
She went on to praise DeSantis’ response to COVID-19 and federally mandated shutdowns and chided the Trump administration for taking advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Reynolds had been a loyal supporter of former President Donald Trump, who endorsed Reynolds in June of 2022 as she ran for a second term in office. He called her a “strong leader and fantastic Governor” and an “American First Conservative.”
Just over a year later, Reynolds declined to endorse Trump – sparking tension between the two Republicans.
“I opened up the Governor position for Kim Reynolds, & when she fell behind I ENDORSED her, did big Rallies, & she won,” Trump wrote on Truth Social on July 10. “Now, she wants to remain ‘NEUTRAL.’ I don’t invite her to events! DeSanctus down 45 points!”
The Trump campaign remained critical of Reynolds when news of her impending endorsement became public.
“Kim Reynolds apparently has begun her retirement tour early as she clearly does not have any ambition for higher office,” the Trump campaign told AP News in an emailed statement on Nov. 5. “Earlier this year, she promised her constituents that she would remain neutral in the race, yet she has completely gone back on that promise. Regardless, her endorsement will not make any difference in this race.”
DeSantis has described a potential Reynolds endorsement as a major win for his campaign during an interview with the Des Moines Register on Oct. 25.
“I think what she’s been able to do in Iowa has really been a model for how people should govern,” the governor said. “Clearly, I think she could have a really significant impact. And I think any candidate running would be a fool not to want to have the support of Reynolds.”
The DeSantis campaign has focused its effort on Iowa in recent weeks. The Florida governor has visited 87 of the state’s 99 counties so far, per NBC News.
According to a poll from The Messenger/Harris, President Donald Trump leads the packs of Republicans seeking their party’s presidential nomination with 62% support. DeSantis currently claims second place with 12% support while former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is in third with 7% support. Pharmaceutical entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy is in fourth with 6%.
Iowa holds the first primary caucus in the country. The 2024 caucus will be held on Jan. 15.