Kim Reynolds delivers much-anticipated Ron DeSantis endorsement

Kim Reynolds
Can the Iowa Governor give the DeSantis campaign a lift ahead of the January caucuses?

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds boosted the presidential campaign of Florida’s Governor on Monday, delivering a coveted endorsement for Ron DeSantis during a rally in Des Moines.

The endorsement, which comes as Donald Trump leads by nearly 30 points in the most recent Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa Poll of the race, represents the culmination of a DeSantis effort months in the making — and a potential lifeline for a campaign that suddenly finds itself in mortal combat with that of Nikki Haley, who is tied with DeSantis in that same poll.

Reynolds was introduced by First Lady Casey DeSantis, and upon taking the stage, the Iowa Governor referenced a quasi-controversy where Casey DeSantis was called “Walmart Melania,” saying “from one Walmart shopper to another, you rock!”

The Iowa Governor got serious from there, noting Iowa’s unique opportunity to “vet” presidential candidates, and contending she thought “long and hard” about the decision.

“We get to know them on a personal level,” Reynolds said.

Saying the country is “almost unrecognizable,” Reynolds painted a bleak tableau: crime, illegal immigration, fentanyl, and “Biden-nomics” at home, and depredations from Iran, Hamas, and China abroad.

“If we don’t choose right, we are not going to get this country back,” Reynolds said, adding that America needs a President who “puts this country first and not himself.”

“That leader is Ron DeSantis,” Reynolds said.

She extolled their shared commitment to fight COVID-19 mitigation and vaccination pressures, saying they fought “unbelievable pressure, even from the White House.” DeSantis, said Reynolds, stood up to both the “liberal media” and the “Trump administration” in that effort, “acting on real science and not on fear.”

“Ron is focused, he is principled, he is results-driven,” said Reynolds. “He gets things done.”

DeSantis took over soon thereafter, delivering practiced lines, such as the promise that his children won’t bring “cocaine” to the White House and laudatory comments about Reynolds, “one of the greatest governors this state has ever had.”

While he did not list other Iowa Governors he admired, he also talked about their shared approach to COVID-19 and how they took “flack” but now people know “those are the right decisions.”

“Iowa is one of the best governed states in America,” DeSantis said, noting visitors and people who moved to Florida tell him that, which is something he’s said on numerous occasions this year.

DeSantis went on to his narrative of national “decline,” saying the United States has “hit the skids,” with “technocratic elites” and “terrorists” wreaking their particular brand of havoc. Many places are “ungovernable” and beset by an “unaccountable bureaucracy,” and an “elite” that “doesn’t care about you.”

“They just want to sit back and pursue their agenda at your expense. Well, we refuse to do that any longer,” DeSantis said to cheers.

“We must reject decline,” he continued. “We must choose American revival.”

DeSantis castigated Republicans who “refuse to fight for our values” and “bend their knee,” which is something neither Reynolds nor he did, he noted.

“Together, we will give this nation a new birth of freedom,” DeSantis vowed.

The Trump campaign offered preemptive comment Monday afternoon, meanwhile, with spokesperson Steven Cheung diminishing the importance of the endorsement.

“Kim Reynolds’s endorsement of DeSanctus is a prime example of disloyalty in politics. The people of Iowa know what President Trump has done for their state. The fact is that her endorsement does not make any difference in Iowa, because people know President Trump is the undisputed leader of the Republican Party.”

The Democratic National Committee offered its own acidic dismissal of the Reynolds announcement, also before the event in Des Moines.

“From one extreme MAGA governor to another, Kim Reynolds’s endorsement of Ron DeSantis makes perfect sense – America’s two most unpopular, anti-abortion governors are sticking together. Reynolds and DeSantis have been in lockstep on their failed MAGA leadership – signing extreme abortion bans, allowing book bans, and handing out tax giveaways for the ultra-wealthy and big corporations at the expense of hardworking families. Unfortunately for them, doubling down on their shared MAGA agenda won’t revive DeSantis’ floundering campaign.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • My Take

    November 6, 2023 at 8:00 pm

    Ì wònďer what she gets out of it?

    • Rubes Of The Villages

      November 6, 2023 at 9:49 pm

      Like any rube, nothing.

  • JC

    November 6, 2023 at 10:28 pm

    If Trump can’t win, Ron is someone who 100% CANNOT win! This endorsement will be forgotten by tomorrow.

    • Michael K

      November 6, 2023 at 10:35 pm

      Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum all won the last three Iowa caucuses.

      • Michael K

        November 6, 2023 at 10:40 pm

        Correction: Trump won Iowa Caucus in 2020.

      • Sam J

        November 6, 2023 at 11:47 pm

        And all were massively defeated in the primary.

  • Michael K

    November 6, 2023 at 10:34 pm

    Future? Do you mean, like, a vision?

    All I see is a small-minded, man petty little man, with a bleak dystopian picture of America, loaded up with anger, bitterness, and grievance, doing his best to wreck the future, first by destroying public education.

    When these two say they want to “take our country back,” they mean back to the good old days when white men ruled, women “knew their place,” and Black people – well, Iowa is nearly 90% White. LGBTQ people? They’d just as soon round ’em all up and drag us all back to the 50’s: the 1850s. Essentially, the new confederacy.

    • Rick Whitaker

      November 7, 2023 at 6:22 pm

      the destroying of public schools is the thing that tears me up. these governors giving the taxpayers money to kooky religious fake schools is ruining our country. school choice my ass!

  • MH/Duuuval

    November 6, 2023 at 10:58 pm

    “Biden-nomics” at home” is a problem, like how?

    Not enough money flowing to the top 1 percent?

  • Ken

    November 6, 2023 at 11:46 pm

    DeSantis couldn’t win dog catcher right now, unless he padded the ballot box. It’s a good thing he can’t run for Governor again. It will be interesting to see if he’ll wait the required four years, and then run for that office again.

  • Casey

    November 7, 2023 at 1:07 am

    Ron is not focused. He is talking about foot fetishes and wearing a boot on his head. This endorsement will be forgotten after the election tomorrow.

  • Hank

    November 7, 2023 at 1:07 am

    Ron is not focused. He is talking about foot f@tishes and wearing a boot on his head. This endorsement will be forgotten after the election tomorrow.

    • MH/Duuuval

      November 7, 2023 at 9:10 am

      We’ll get the only poll results that matter today.

    • Rick Whitaker

      November 7, 2023 at 6:25 pm

      if you take ” the federalist ” seriously you are a maga cultist for sure.

  • My Take

    November 7, 2023 at 10:19 am

    In the oppoosite of endorsement,
    How many persons has Trump specifically labeled as TRUMP HATERs.
    It must be quite a few. Seemingly everone whò opposes him other than simply ŕùnning agàinst hìm.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn