Estey’s Country Store in Londonderry, New Hampshire, is known for a “lot of great local products and tasty baked goods.”
But after Wednesday, it may become known as an unlikely battleground in the 2024 presidential race, with its proprietor being touted as a Ron DeSantis endorser early in the day, only to renounce that designation by nightfall.
Owner Thomas Estey apparently is not part of what the DeSantis campaign calls “growing grassroots momentum,” as reported locally and spotlighted by the Donald Trump campaign.
“In what is becoming common practice for Ron DeSantis and his campaign, they were caught in a blatant lie about one of their supposed endorsers. The New Hampshire Union Leader followed up with Londonderry businessman Thomas Estey to confirm who he is supporting for President, and to the surprise of nobody, he stated the DeSantis campaign was dead wrong,” Team Trump writes, setting up a devastating quote.
“Ron DeSantis’s team kept bugging me for my endorsement, but I am 100% voting for President Trump,” Estey said. “He is the only one who can save our country from Joe Biden.”
Despite the retracted endorsement, the vast majority of names rolled out Tuesday are on board, including three New Hampshire state Representatives, four former elected officials, most from local offices, four former local GOP Chairs, five elected local officials, and an activist.
As of Nov. 13, Trump commanded nearly 44% support in New Hampshire, according to FiveThirtyEight’s average of polls. DeSantis has actually fallen behind Haley in the Granite State, with less than 11% support to her nearly 15%.
New Hampshire’s Secretary of State has not yet set a date for the GOP Republican Presidential Primary. Still, according to the group Citizens Count, it’s expected to be set for Jan. 23.
Never Back Down, the super PAC supporting DeSantis, released a rebuttal — an image of a signed pledge dated May 7, 2023.
Peter Schorsch contributed reporting.