IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
Ron DeSantis during the North Carolina Republican Party Convention in Greensboro, N.C.
Ron DeSantis during the North Carolina Republican Party Convention in Greensboro, N.C., on June 9, 2023.Chuck Burton / AP

Eyes on 2024: A weekend of GOP endorsements

DeSantis picked up his first endorsement from a GOP governor, while Trump was backed by two more congressmen.

By and

It was a busy weekend on the presidential campaign trail, as Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis both rolled out more endorsements. 

DeSantis picked up his first endorsement from a sitting governor, with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt backing DeSantis at an event hosted by the pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down. Most governors have stayed out of the presidential primary so far, with just two others — South Carolina’s Henry McMaster and West Virginia’s Jim Justice (also a Senate candidate) — previously endorsing Trump. 

Trump picked up endorsements from two Georgia House members as he traveled to the Peach State — GOP Reps. Andrew Clyde and Mike Collins. National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Richard Hudson also reiterated at the North Carolina state GOP convention that he was backing Trump (Hudson first endorsed Trump back in November). That means more than 50 Republican House members are backing the former president, which is almost a quarter of the GOP conference. 

(Five House members have endorsed DeSantis, and just one has backed former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. Former Vice President Mike Pence’s brother Greg, a congressman from Indiana, said before Pence launched his campaign that he would support his brother if he ran.)

And Trump made some endorsement news of his own this weekend. At the North Carolina convention, Trump shouted out controversial Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who is running for governor, per the NBC News team covering the convention, Sarah Dean, Nnamdi Egwuonwu, Blayne Alexander and Charlie Gile. 

“And I’m going to endorse Mark but I’m not going to tell you about it tonight, okay. We’ll save it for another time. But you can count on it, Mark.”

In other campaign news…

I’m not leaving: Trump told Politico over the weekend that he wouldn’t drop out of the presidential race even if he was convicted, and added “I don’t care that my poll numbers went up by a lot. I don’t want to be indicted. 

Rally time: President Joe Biden will attend his first political rally this week, but it’s not being held by his campaign — the rally will be hosted by local unions in Philadelphia. 

On the air (kind of): The super PAC backing former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie launched its first TV ad in New Hampshire on Sunday, although AdImpact just tracked $3,500 spent on the ad in the Boston market.  

Help for Harris: Politico reports that EMILY’s List, which backs women candidates who support abortion rights, plans to spend “tens of millions of dollars” to boost Vice President Kamala Harris.

Another one?: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez teased a potential presidential run during a “Fox News Sunday” appearance, encouraging viewers to “stay tuned” and adding he would be making a “big speech” this week at the Reagan Library. 

Guess who’s PAC: Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is launching a new PAC aimed at boosting the Biden-Harris ticket and other Democrats for the upcoming cycle, NBC News’ Henry J. Gomez reports

Thanks but no thanks: GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher, who some Republicans had been encouraging to run for Senate, announced Friday that he will not be challenging Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

Justice and a perceived injustice: The Messenger reports on the strained relationship between West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and Republican Gov. Jim Justice ahead of a possible Senate bid, with Manchin criticizing the governor for firing his wife from a government post in 2018.  

Democrats ready to rock n’ roll: The AP delves into how the Mississippi governor’s race is giving Democrats some hope with Mississippi Public Service Commission Brandon Presley, Elvis Presley’s second cousin, taking on GOP Gov. Tate Reeves.