Donald Trump could endorse this rising GOP star to replace Ron DeSantis in 2026

May 24, 2024

Ron DeSantis’ time as Florida Governor is coming to an end after the 2026 Election.

A big field of Republican candidates is expected to vie to lead the Sunshine State. 

And Donald Trump could endorse this rising GOP star to replace Ron DeSantis in 2026.

The race to replace Ron DeSantis as Florida Governor

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis parlayed being the chief executive of the Sunshine State into becoming one of the biggest stars in the Republican Party.

He is term limited after winning his re-election race in the 2022 Midterm Election by a landslide.

DeSantis transformed the job of Florida Governor into one of the plum positions in the GOP.

No candidates have officially declared that they are going to throw their hat into the ring, but a large field of Republicans are expected to compete.

Former President Donald Trump’s endorsement looms large in the race.

In 2018, he endorsed DeSantis for Governor shortly before the August GOP primary when then-Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam was ahead in the polls and the favorite of the establishment.

The former President has not endorsed anyone for 2026 but his support is expected to play a significant role in who survives what is expected to be a hotly contested GOP Primary.

Several Trump allies could run for Florida Governor in 2026

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, DeSantis’ Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson, Representatives Byron Donalds (R-FL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Mike Waltz (R-FL) are all rumored to be potentially considering a run.

Ballard Partners partner Justin Sayfie, a former advisor to Florida Governor Jeb Bush, told Politico that the jockeying has already started for the 2026 Governor’s race.

“The invisible primary for the GOP nomination for Florida governor for 2026 is already underway,” Sayfie said. “It’s something that doesn’t get talked about in the open, but it’s classic Donald Trump to bring out into the open what everyone is saying behind closed doors.”

Trump reportedly asked Rep. Donalds if he was going to run for Florida Governor during a campaign fundraiser in New York City.

“That’s what I hear,” Donalds told Politico with a big grin.

But he said his focus is on helping Trump and Republican candidates for the 2024 Election, where he is also considered a potential Vice Presidential candidate.

The former President said that he has a lot of friends in Florida who are interested in running for Governor. 

Gaetz, Donalds, and Waltz have all accompanied Trump to his criminal trial in Manhattan and spoken out on his behalf while he is muzzled by an unconstitutional gag order by Democrat Judge Juan Merchan.

Donald Trump Jr. and his fiancé Kimberly Guilfoyle previously said that they were excited to endorse Gaetz if he ran for Governor.

He has denied interest in seeking the job.

Nuñez advisor David Custin said that Trump’s role is going to hang over the GOP field.

“Nobody is going to be able to decide what they want to do until after November,” Custin said. “Everybody is in the same boat. Is Trump sworn in or not? That’s the first question you have to ask. Is it truly a wide open primary, or is it going to be a primary that’s basically picked by the sitting president from Florida?”

Donald Trump could once again be the kingmaker in the GOP Primary for Florida Governor in 2026.

DeSantis Daily will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.

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