Former President Donald Trump is depending on his network of personal and political connections to gain extensive Congressional support for his 2024 bid for the White House and defeat his potential GOP primary challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, before the Governor has even officially announced his campaign.
The depth and influence of Trump’s retail political talent have become increasingly evident recently as many congressional Republicans have rallied behind the former President’s comeback campaign.
He already has the support of at least half of Florida’s Republican House delegation, including a handful of members of the team DeSantis tried to charm.
Trump’s increase in endorsements has disappointed DeSantis, who is expected to announce his 2024 Presidential bid in May or June after the Florida state legislature ends its annual session.
So far, three members of Congress, including only one from Florida, have approved DeSantis’s presidential bid.
In some cases, the endorsements came directly from lobbying by Trump and his team. Others said the former President or his political team never reached out to them but noted that Trump had kept communication open with them, while they only recently started hearing from DeSantis’ team.
Republican Rep. Greg Steube (Fla.), who endorsed Trump on Monday (April 17), said it was DeSantis’ team who started reaching out to him “after five years.”
But explained be hadn’t heard from DeSantis’ team since endorsing Trump.
However, Steube explained that the former President had reached out to him after sustaining an injury and being admitted to the hospital after falling off a ladder at his home earlier in the year.