- Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt publicly endorsed Ron DeSantis for President, becoming DeSantis’ first gubernatorial endorsement.
- DeSantis also received the backing of 20 Oklahoma legislators.
- Stitt’s endorsement marks a departure from his previous association with former President Donald Trump, who endorsed Stitt during his 2022 gubernatorial election.
- Stitt praised DeSantis’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted their shared conservative values and legislative priorities, including restrictions on abortion and increased parental rights in education.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt publicly backed Gov. Ron DeSantis for President this weekend, marking the Florida governor’s first gubernatorial endorsement. DeSantis also garnered the support of twenty Oklahoma legislators, laying the groundwork for a political stronghold within the state.
Notably, Stitt was endorsed by Donald Trump during his 2022 gubernatorial election, representing a break in party allegiance as he departs from his previous association with the former President. Stitt’s endorsement serves as the first major endorsement for DeSantis after more than half of the U.S. representatives from Florida backed Trump.
During a DeSantis campaign stop in Tulsa on Saturday, Stitt lauded Florida’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, referencing DeSantis’ efforts to keep the state’s economy functioning amid national lockdowns.
“Governor DeSantis is a strong conservative and principled leader, and I am proud to endorse him for president,” said Stitt. “As fellow Governors during COVID, DeSantis did not surrender states’ rights and individual liberties over to groupthink. In this election cycle, Oklahomans will remember that DeSantis was one of the few who never backed down in the face of adversity, because DeSantis operated with dogged conviction and shared our values for a limited government and free country.”
The two governors hold similar statewide legislative priorities, having both authorized measures to restrict access to abortion, permit “constitutional carry,” and increase parental rights in education.
Stitt also commended DeSantis for his accomplishments in Florida across his two terms as governor, emphasizing his contributions to the state’s economy, student-centric education system, and improved infrastructure.
“As a proven leader, DeSantis has boldly delivered results for the people of Florida that laid the groundwork for a booming economy, an education system focused on student outcomes, and better infrastructure for working families,” continued Stitt. “To deliver these same results all across America and unwind the disastrous liberal mandates of the Biden administration is going to demand a candidate who can win and keep winning as a two-term president. I am confident that leader is Ron DeSantis.”
Former NASA Administrator and U.S. Congressman Jim Bridenstine, who was a member of the House Freedom Caucus also endorsed Governor DeSantis earlier this week.
According to recent poll results for the GOP primary, Trump received support from 38 percent of Oklahomans while DeSantis garnered 29 percent. Another poll conducted by Echelon Insights from 2022 showed Trump with a significant lead at 60 percent of the voter share compared to DeSantis’ 30 percent.