According to NBC News, team members for Ron DeSantis have reached out to six different Florida Republicans in an attempt to prevent them from endorsing President Trump in the GOP primary. This comes after a flurry of prominent Florida congress members have thrown their support behind the former President.
In the past 6 weeks, Trump has scored endorsements from Matt Gaetz, Anna Paulina Luna, Cory Mills and Byron Donalds. However, insiders have said that the Donalds endorsement specifically was the straw that broke the camels back, and now it appears that DeSantis staffers are trying to prevent a domino effect.
According to the report, these calls to Florida Republicans have two aims 1) To prevent further endorsements of Trump from being announced and 2) To schedule a call between the Congress member and DeSantis.
Here’s more from NBC News:
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.
Longtime GOP pollster Ryan Tyson has been at the forefront of this effort, according to NBC. Tyson has reportedly reached out to schedule calls between each Florida Republican and DeSantis himself.
“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.
As of right now, DeSantis still does not have any endorsements from his own delegation.