Laurel Lee endorses Donald Trump after Ron DeSantis suspends his campaign

laurel lee
She was the only Ron DeSantis supporter in Florida's congressional delegation.

U.S. Rep. Laurel Lee was the only member of Florida’s congressional delegation to endorse Ron DeSantis for President. Now she’s following his lead and backing former President Donald Trump.

“Our country needs a conservative leader in the White House,” said Lee, a Thonotosassa Republican.

“While I was proud to support my former boss, Ron DeSantis, during his campaign, I have great faith in the leadership and proven track record of President Trump. He is the candidate who can unite Republicans, reverse the horrendous open border policies of Joe Biden, and take back the presidency for conservatives. President Trump has my endorsement and my full support.”

Lee announced her support a day after DeSantis suspended his presidential campaign. She notably served as DeSantis’ Secretary of State over most of his first term as Governor. She left the position in 2022 to run for Congress and won in a new district created by a new congressional map the Governor’s staff crafted.

Last April, she became the first — and ultimately, only — member of Florida’s congressional delegation to back DeSantis’ run for President.

At the time, Trump was making a clear play to shore up support from U.S. Representatives in his and DeSantis’ home state of Florida. That stepped up in the days leading toward the New Hampshire Primary, when U.S. Reps. Aaron Bean, Kat Cammack and Scott Franklin all endorsed Trump over DeSantis, some just hours before DeSantis called it quits.

“I fully endorse Donald J. Trump to be our Republican nominee,” Franklin tweeted on Sunday morning. “We must reject the failed schemes of Joe Biden and unite our party around the proven policies and tested leadership of Donald Trump. The stakes couldn’t be higher. The future of our Republic depends on it.”

No members of Florida’s congressional delegation have endorsed Haley. At this point, 18 of 20 Republican U.S. Representatives from the state have endorsed Trump. Only U.S. Reps. Mario Díaz-Balart and María Elvira Salazar, both Miami-Dade Republicans, remain silent on the GOP nomination.

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].


  • PeterH

    January 22, 2024 at 10:35 am

    I find it remarkable that any thinking American can endorse a twice impeached, four time indicted narcissist with a documented track record of promoting racist tropes to enhance his electability chances by pandering to the lowest common denominator in the American MAGA cesspool of despair.

    • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

      January 22, 2024 at 6:37 pm

      Good evening America,
      I, Earl Pitts American, now that all the lesser politico’s have had their shot at “Weighing In” and feeling “Ever So Relevant” will bless our “Great Nation with Weighing In Also”.
      I too endorse Donald Trump and all the members of my fan club already are aware of Don’s, Ron’s, and Earl’s “Sage Plan of Victorious Victory”.
      Thank you America and when the “Big Red Landslide Happens” you all have been “Clued In By Earl In Advance”.
      So everyone that is “In The Know” thanks to Earl may just “Relax Their Sphincters” secure in the knowledge that Me, Earl Pitts American, has this election well “In Hand”.
      Your welcome America EPA

      • George

        January 22, 2024 at 7:30 pm

        I’m not going to argue your jabberwocky. It would be pointless and I wish to stay out of the mud. That being said, what is your obsession with people’s sphincters? Is that a Panhandle thang? A little banjo music perhaps…

        • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

          January 23, 2024 at 8:01 pm

          Thank you for your “Sage Inquiry” George,
          I borrowed the quote: “Relax Your Sphincters” from the “American Classic Blazing Saddles”. In the movie the Govornor, played by Mel Gibson, told the room full of political flunkies to relax their sphincters prior to forcing them all to give him a series of “Herumphs”. [Note: Borrowing and Plagurism are 2 totally different words]. That means you cant put me in the same catagory of “Plagurism” which that guy Claude Gay of Harvard is guilty of …. so keep that in mind, George before you get any “WiseinHeimer Ideas”.
          My Political Science Division has found Liberals go thru life all Uber Nervous and Uptight with worry. Thus they all suffer from extra tight sphincters which causes a dangerous dook build-up resulting in dook backing up all the way into their brains. (Thus we “Moniker” them all correctly as “Dook 4 Brains Leftists”).
          So as you, George, can “Clearly and Un-Deniably” now intelectually grasp that ….. if they would all just heed my “Sage Relax Your Sphincters” Advice then All of the leftys would all regain “Clear and Sage Thinking Abilities” due to the “Mind Altering Dook” decending down and out from their brains and passing out of the split where they sit. Thus all will shortly there after begin to convert into Sage Patriots.
          Now, George, as you can see, Relaxing Our Sphincters” and reducing the dangerous numbers of Dook 4 Brains Leftys scientifically go hand in hand.
          Now, George, thanks to Me, Earl Pitts American ‘splaining this truth to you …, George, now know the Sage Science Based Truth behind the big and necessary push to get America to Relax Their Sphincters.
          Be Fore-Warned, George, this is Sage and Indisputable Science. And as Fouchi taught you: “Dont Dispute The Science”.
          Any disputes will be reviewed for a severe “Chastizement From Earl” hitting any Disputers like A Ton of Heavy and Painfull Bricks falling on their Fool Heads.
          Well, George, I believe I have answered all your concerns so enjoy the rest of your week.
          And, George, Relax Your Sphincter, you will thank me later,
          Earl Pitts American

          • rick whitaker

            January 23, 2024 at 10:00 pm


    • Earl's Long Suffering But Heavily Medicated Wife

      January 23, 2024 at 12:02 pm

      Don’t worry folks. I fill out our Absentee Ballots and drop them off. He has no idea he’s been voting Democrat for 20 years.

      • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

        January 23, 2024 at 8:16 pm


      • Dont Say FLA

        January 25, 2024 at 1:30 pm

        Mama what did you go and do?!?! Pop visits here. Somebody might tell him. Maybe a friend will tell him. Except i think his friends are all just him. But my lips is sealed. Don’t worry about me! You keep on keeping on with the family’s ballots Mama.

  • Dont Say FLA

    January 22, 2024 at 11:28 am

    All these G0P reps will dutifully spit “Trump” out their mouths but then vote for Haley, not recognizing the damage they do with their mouths.

    Y’all G0Ps need to stop playing now.

  • JD

    January 22, 2024 at 3:34 pm

    Like rats leaving one sink ship to jump upon another sinking ship.

  • DeSantis Hates Women

    January 22, 2024 at 4:26 pm

    Greet the Republicans as you might greet a terrorist.

    • Impeach Biden

      January 23, 2024 at 6:15 am

      I would bet money that most of these Palestinian protesters here in the US, if they are citizens, are registered Democrats. And if they were in Gaza, they would vote for Hamas. Democrats are friends of the terrorists.

      • Dont Say FLA

        January 25, 2024 at 1:31 pm

        Nobody votes for Hamas. They got elected decades ago and just stayed in power. Just like that orange guy tried but failed. He can only hope to be as successful as Hamas.

        LOL @ Loser Trump, Couldn’t Even Do What Hamas Did

    • Sally B

      January 24, 2024 at 12:10 am

      How would you greet Republicans, some of your fellow Americans? Seriously? Wow! Thank God for the First Amendment? You should. Wow!

  • Beth

    January 22, 2024 at 4:47 pm

    Wow Lee must be so proud to support a traitorous sexual predator. She is so looking forward to her chance to use the nations capital as a restroom with the rest of the trump scum. I hope she doesn’t have children. What a disgrace to women.

  • Lex

    January 23, 2024 at 7:51 am

    I agree with Laurel. I thought that Desantis was more electable. I think policy-wise there was little difference at all between Trump and Desantis. I am going to look to Trump to repair the unfair damage he did to Desantis. I also will look to Desantis to try to unite behind Trump. Trump may not have always been a good man, but Trump was always a great president.

    • Impeach Biden

      January 23, 2024 at 11:18 am

      Four more years of the worst President since Jimmy Carter would be disastrous for this nation.

      • Earl's Long Suffering But Heavily Medicated Wife

        January 23, 2024 at 12:21 pm

        Yeah, highest stock market in history. Remember how Dump’s policies and inaction tanked your IRA? Lowest unemployment in history. Remember how everyone lost their jobs under Orange Jesus? U.S. crude oil production increased to a new record high in 2023. Don the Con was all talk, no results. More people are working than at any point in American history. Rescued the economy and changed the course of the pandemic.
        Rebuilding our infrastructure despite republican opposition, but they sure try to take credit for it every dsy. Historic expansion of benefits and services for toxic exposed veterans. R’s cult leader hates veterans. He publicly berates them And now we have a bipartisan bill making its way through congress but MAGA is trying to stop it because they don’t want to Biden to have ANOTHER win. This slate of Republican “leaders” in Congress doesn’t care about America. They care about power.

        Yeah, things suck. But not in the way you think.

        • Dont Say FLA

          January 25, 2024 at 1:37 pm

          That’s right mama. The only reason the stock market shot up after Trump’s election was that crooked old white men with hearts full of greed realized the fix was in and they could get away with whatever they tried without having any concern for any regulatory response or penalty from the US Government that’s supposedly by the people and for the people.

          But then the old white men started to realize Trump was a total nincompoop just like his cabinet guy said he was and stocks started their decline and then Covid followed shortly thereafter, ending the life of that manic bull.

    • Dont Say FLA

      January 25, 2024 at 1:34 pm

      Lex we don’t often agree but I will grant you that.

      You’re right. Desantis was in fact more electable than Trump. That is Truth.

      But the fact remains, neither one’s nationally electable in 2024.

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