Joe Gruters publicly backing Donald Trump in 2024
Joe Gruters, Donald Trump, Susie Wiles. Image via Twitter.

Gruters Trump Wiles
The state Senator attended a dinner Thursday in Mar-a-Lago with other endorsers.

State Sen. Joe Gruters could not wait for Session to end before boarding the Donald Trump train.

The Sarasota Republican attended a dinner at Mar-a-Lago, dining alongside 10 Florida members of Congress who were supporting Trump for President over Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis is expected to announce his candidacy within weeks.

Gruters, a former Republican Party of Florida Chair, made clear he’s with Trump for the long haul.

“With the A team,” he tweeted with pictures of the dinner. “Onward to ‘24!”

He appears to be the first sitting state lawmaker to endorse Trump.

It’s no shock Gruters would cast his lot with Trump. He was an early supporter of Trump in 2016 when few took the construction mogul, then best known as a reality TV host for “The Apprentice, as a serious candidate for President.

He was serious, of course. Gruters ended up appointed as Co-Chair for the Florida arm of Trump’s presidential campaign, when he ultimately won the GOP nomination and completed a shocking upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the General Election.

But Gruters’ attendance wasn’t necessarily a guarantee at the dinner. For one, the event primarily served to showcase Trump’s dominance in landing endorsements from members of Congress representing Florida, he and DeSantis’ shared home state.

The Legislative Session remains ongoing. Both Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner have declined to issue endorsements before the end of Session.

That’s practical in one sense. Gruters has policy and appropriations priorities that will land on DeSantis’ desk as Governor, after all.

But few in Gruters’ orbit have questioned who he would eventually support. He shared pictures of the dinner at Mar-a-Lago on Twitter, including one with Trump and Susie Wiles, a consultant working with Trump who is widely credited for helping Trump win Florida in 2016 and DeSantis win a close race for Governor in 2018.

Wiles has since had a falling out with DeSantis but is working with Trump’s presidential campaign.

In his political activities, Gruters has made his interest in national politics known. He ran unsuccessfully this year for Republican National Committee Treasurer, despite endorsements from Trump and U.S. Sen. Rick Scott. But he made clear then he wanted to stay involved in national politics in the coming Presidential Election cycle.

“I want to win in 2024,” he said.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Pill Mill Berlusconi Bill McClure

    April 21, 2023 at 9:24 am

    So in other words, they’re handing 2024 to the Democrats? Interesting strategy.. very peculiar but interesting indeed.

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 21, 2023 at 9:25 am

    No Comprendo. Hillary Clinton isn’t in the race, so why on Earth would anybody board the train when it derailed last time it tried to the station, burned (with humiliation), festered (with a bruised ego), and then finally exploded on January 6th (somehow crapping the walls while on an everyday normal tour of the Capitol)?

  • Tom

    April 21, 2023 at 9:42 am

    Still running this bozo after his historical implosion in 2020? And the implosion happened BEFORE the deadly riot and the indictments.

  • Is Joe Gutters a Giant?

    April 21, 2023 at 10:22 am

    Is Joe Gutters a Giant? Or is Trump literally shriveling? I know Trump ain’t exercising because he has stated that he believes exercise consumes your given allotment of heartbeats unnecessarily, using them up, leading to an earlier demise than if you had not exercised. Since he ain’t exercising, is he … dying? What up? Or is it just that Joe Gutters is a giant? It is okay by me if Mr Joe truly is a giant. That’s cool. I am accepting of giants. But either that is either one heck of giant, or Mr Trump is decomposing before our eyes.

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