(Daily Caller)—Republican elected officials in Florida are expected to flip their endorsements from Gov. Ron DeSantis to former President Donald Trump next week, NBC News reported Wednesday.
After DeSantis received the backing of 99 state legislators, allies of the former president have orchestrated an effort in the state to switch them to Trump, two sources familiar told NBC News. As many as six of the state’s GOP elected officials will likely announce their support for Trump as early as next week after the Florida Freedom Summit Saturday and amid the third GOP presidential debate Wednesday in Miami, which the former president is skipping to hold a rally in the state.
“It’s coming,” a source familiar told NBC News. “Exact number not yet said, but it will be close to 10.”
A GOP lobbyist in the state, who is not involved in the effort, said that “at least five” can be expected to switch their endorsements to Trump and told NBC News that “there is no doubt that there are more coming next week.”
Trump is also hosting an event at Mar-a-Lago “honoring the Republican Party of Florida” the day following the debate and his rally, according to a copy of an invitation obtained by NBC News.
The move from Trump’s allies comes after they effectively killed the Florida GOP’s loyalty pledge to support the eventual nominee, which was endorsed by DeSantis and mirrored after the Republican National Committee’s requirement to debate, to participate in the state’s primary.
“In the lead-up to the repeal of the loyalty oath, state executive committee members were invited to a Mar-a-Lago event,” a veteran Republican in the state told NBC News. “It seems like a solid approach to win over grassroots leaders that have been largely ignored by the DeSantis operation during the re-elect and the presidential campaign to this point.”
Trump has secured endorsements from the majority of Florida’s Republican congressional delegation, including Reps. Anna Paulina Luna, Matt Gaetz, Byron Donalds, Carlos Giménez, Cory Mills, Greg Steube, Vern Buchanan and John Rutherford.
For a 2024 Republican primary in Florida, Trump is leading the field by 35 points, followed by DeSantis with 22%, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley with 7%, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with 2% and all other GOP hopefuls with 1% support or less, according to a Fabrizio, Lee & Associates survey released Oct. 4.
Neither DeSantis nor Trump immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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