U.S. Rep. Laurel Lee is the first member of Florida’s congressional delegation to endorse Gov. Ron DeSantis for President. The Thonotosassa Republican issued a statement of support months after leaving the Governor’s administration to run for Congress.
“As Ron DeSantis’s Secretary of State, I had the honor of witnessing firsthand his unparalleled leadership under pressure, his character and his commitment to core conservative principles,” Lee said. “His leadership and his vision made Florida a shining beacon of freedom. Ron DeSantis fights for what matters, and he wins when it matters most.”
Lee came on as Florida Secretary of State in January 2018, not long after DeSantis’ inauguration for his first term as Governor. For most of the next four years, she oversaw Florida’s elections at a statewide level.
When a new congressional map crafted by DeSantis’ Office created an open seat around her home community of Thonotosassa, Lee left the Secretary of State post to run for the seat in Florida’s 15th Congressional District. She secured the Republican nomination in a crowded Primary field. Lee later defeated Democrat Alan Cohn in the battleground district, helping Republicans win a majority in the U.S. House.
Now she says DeSantis is the best choice to take on President Joe Biden in 2024.
“Our country is in crisis, and it is time Americans learn what Floridians already know: Ron DeSantis’ conservative principles, proven track record, and his commitment to our country are exactly what we need in a leader,”
The move comes the same day Lee is set to attend a Washington, D.C., event honoring DeSantis. And To The Republic had announced Lee on its list of special guests along with U.S. Reps. Chip Roy and Thomas Massie, both of whom already endorsed DeSantis.
While DeSantis has not formally announced a run for President, there’s already a race underway for prominent Florida endorsements. But former President Donald Trump clearly holds the lead in that department.
The same day Lee announced, U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, a Jacksonville Republican, became the sixth member of the state’s congressional delegation to back Trump. He follows Byron Donalds, Matt Gaetz, Anna Paulina Luna, Cory Mills and Greg Steube.
Florida has 20 Republican Representatives in the U.S. House.