Five Republican Florida state legislators have switched their 2024 presidential endorsements from Governor Ron DeSantis to former President Donald Trump.
Those who flipped are State Reps. Jessica Baker, Webster Barnaby, Alina Garcia, Kevin Steele, and State Sen. Debbie Mayfield.
In total, Trump picked up endorsements from seven state legislators while speaking at the Florida Freedom Summit on Saturday, an event where DeSantis also spoke. State Representatives Mike Beltran and David Borrero, who had not yet endorsed anyone in the race, also endorsed the Republican frontrunner.
Some Florida legislatures have expressed that they are concerned about switching their endorsements out of fear that DeSantis will veto their spending projects out of spite.
The Messenger reports:
The seven endorsements, unveiled Saturday at the Florida’s GOP’s “Freedom Summit” and shared first with The Messenger, follow Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s decision Thursday to back Trump and they come 10 days after one of DeSantis’s former top allies in the Florida Legislature, Rep. Randy Fine, defected to Trump.
As the strongest executive in modern memory, DeSantis is still powerful in the Florida Capitol, where his high favorability ratings with Republican voters and his penchant for wielding his veto pen have bent the Republican-run Legislature to his will. DeSantis now counts 93 endorsements from Florida legislators – down from 99 he unveiled in May — although some have privately told The Messenger they’re only sticking with DeSantis over Trump because they don’t want their bills or hometown spending projects vetoed.
Florida Sen. Rick Scott had also endorsed Trump on Thursday.
State Rep. Jessica Baker told The Messenger that she was representing the will of her constituents by switching from DeSantis to Trump.
“As instability grows around the world and economic uncertainty takes root here at home, folks across my district tell me constantly they want to see President Donald Trump back in the White House and Gov. Ron DeSantis back on the job here in Florida, finishing the work he promised to do less than a year ago,” Baker said in a written statement.
State Sen. Debbie Mayfield told the outlet, “It’s time to unite our party behind Donald Trump, prepare for the year ahead and work together to prevent another four years of Joe Biden’s disastrous policies from destroying this nation that we all love so dearly.”