It may not carry the same clout as an endorsement from the president, but U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis picked up the support of another key conservative in his quest to win the Republican nomination for governor.
“I’ve known you all these years,” said Fox News host Sean Hannity told DeSantis on his radio talk show. “I can not more enthusiastically endorse and completely support your run, and I really think the people of Florida will be blessed because I know what a strong leader you are.”
“That means a lot to me,” said DeSantis in reply to Hannity’s endorsement. “We’ve got a good opportunity to build on the success that Governor Scott has had. I think this tax bill is going to give us a tremendous, competitive advantage in Florida to create a lot of jobs. We have an opportunity to fix our activist courts and live under the rule of law.”
DeSantis announced he is planning to run for governor a couple of weeks ago on Fox. His announcement followed the endorsement from President Donald Trump in a tweet Trump posted in December in which Trump called the Florida Congressman a “brilliant young leader … who would make a great governor of Florida.”
Since Trump’s tweet, support for DeSantis has been growing. He’s also picked up the support of another conservative radio talk show host, Mark Levin.
More importantly, he has been picking up the backing of some of the big-money supporters in the Republican Party. The list of names on DeSantis’ “Finance Leadership Team” includes billionaires such as Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus who is a resident of Boca Raton.
DeSantis’ growing support was also reflected in a poll released last week by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. In the Chamber’s first poll of the new year, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam held a 23 to 18 percent advantage over DeSantis. About 50 percent of the GOP voters remain undecided.
DeSantis’ support in the poll doubled from September when he garnered 9 percent of the voters surveyed.
There’s a long way to go before election day, but DeSantis has to be pleased with the momentum his young campaign is building. But he has to be factoring in the possibility that House Speaker Richard Corcoran will likely get into the race. Corcoran is expected to make a decision following the legislative session. If he does get into the race he would likely compete with DeSantis for the more conservative base of the party.