- Former President Donald Trump endorsed Sen. Joe Gruters late Wednesday
- Gruters, a close ally of the former President, served as co-chair of the 2016 Trump campaign’s Florida division
- Gruters previously referred to Trump as the “economic heavyweight champion of the world.”
- Gruters is preparing to square off against Michael Johnson in the District 23 general election
Sen. Joe Gruters received endorsement from former President Donald Trump late Wednesday night. Gruters has been a longtime Trump ally, standing as one of the former President’s earliest backers in 2016 as well as serving as the co-chair of the Trump campaign’s Florida division.
Gruters will face Republican Michael Johnson in the Aug. 23 primary, which will be open to all voters because no Democrats or other candidates declared intentions to run. The primary is in the newly created Senate District 22 in the counties of Sarasota and Manatee.
“Joe did a wonderful job as Florida State Chair of my 2016 Campaign—he is a MAGA Champion,” said Trump. “Joe Gruters has my Complete and Total Endorsement for Florida’s State Senate District 23!”
Gruters was a district-level delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention from Florida before Gruters defeated James T. Golden in the Florida House of Representatives District 73 general election. In 2018 He was elected to serve as the Republican Party of Florida’s chair, winning re-election in 2020.
Gruters transitioned to the Florida Senate after a vacancy was created when Greg Steube announced he would resign in order to run for U.S. Congress. Gruters defeated Democrat Faith Babis in the general election.
Gruters retained his Senate seat in 2020, defeating Democrat challenger Katherine Norman with ease, commanding a 17-point election victory.
“Joe Gruters is delivering tremendous results for the incredible people of Florida, continued Trump. “A proud fourth-generation Sarasotan and small business owner, Joe is fighting hard to Grow Florida’s Economy, Create Great Jobs, Lower Taxes, Slash Regulations, and Ensure Free, Fair, and Honest Elections.”
Gruters has acted as one of the Senate’s most prominent lawmakers, sitting on a series of committees including the Senate Rules Committee, Commerce and Tourism Committee, and acting as chair of the Education Committee.
In a past Republican National Convention speech, Gruters referred to Trump as the “economic heavyweight champion of the world.”
“I rise today to second the nomination of the economic heavyweight champion of the world, Donald J. Trump, to be the Republican nominee for president,” Gruters said. “Who better to lead our country out of the economic impacts that we face as a result of the Wuhan virus than the president who has already delivered us record low unemployment for African Americans, for Hispanics, for Asian Americans, for women, and for Americans without college degrees?”
The Sarasota Senator also praised the president’s “pro-American agenda,” noting his commitment to the military while adding that Trump is not “defunding the police, he’s defending the police.”