Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt endorsed his Florida counterpart, Gov. Ron DeSantis, in the 2024 presidential election when the Republican nominee spoke in Tulsa on Saturday.
DeSantis, second behind former President Donald Trump in most polls of Republican voters, is running an uphill campaign, and Trump’s daily attacks are a headwind.
Stitt, introducing DeSantis at a special event in Tulsa hosted by the Never Back Down political action committee, said the Floridian is in step with his fellow Republicans as he keeps a steady hand amid the pandemic and political turmoil.
“DeSantis did not surrender states’ rights and individual liberties to groupthink,” Stitt said. “In this election cycle, Oklahomans will remember that DeSantis was one of the few who never backed down.”
The unsealing Friday of a 37-count indictment against Trump relating to more than 100 government documents found at the former president’s Florida home last August keeps Trump at the top of the news while posing an inevitable challenge to Opponents: Acknowledge the seriousness of the case or accept Trump’s claim that he is the victim of a witch hunt that has seen the Justice Department weaponized for successful political jobs.
Stitt did not mention Trump, who won Sooner State in both 2016 and 2020 with more than 65% of the vote, but described DeSantis as a “principled leader” who has the opportunity to serve consecutive terms, a span of 8 years. If Trump resumes the presidency, it would be his second term and he could only serve four years.
“DeSantis has delivered bold results for the people of Florida that laid the foundation for a booming economy, an education system focused on student outcomes, and better infrastructure for working families,” said the Oklahoma Governor.
The endorsement followed news that 20 Oklahoma state lawmakers and former Republican U.S. Representative Jim Bridenstine also gave DeSantis their formal endorsements for president.
Speaking after Stitt, DeSantis addressed Trump’s impeachment challenge, saying that if elected, “you’ll have the Justice Department clean from top to bottom.”
emily gold and alec hernandez contributed.