DeSantis lands endorsements of two high-profile Iowa Republicans ahead of stop in key state

Two high-profile Iowa Republicans – state Senate President Amy Sinclair and state House Majority Leader Matt Windschitl – are endorsing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ expected presidential bid, Fox News has confirmed.

Word of the endorsements come two days ahead of DeSantis’ Saturday return to Iowa – the state whose caucuses lead off the GOP presidential nominating calendar.

The Florida governor will be in the heavily red northwestern part of the state in the late morning to headline Republican Rep. Randy Feenstra’s third annual Feenstra Family Picnic fundraiser in Sioux Center. Later in the day, he’ll head east to Cedar Rapids to headline an Iowa GOP fundraising event.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a campaign event on March 10, 2023, in Davenport, Iowa. (AP Photo/Ron Johnson)

Sources in DeSantis’ political orbit tell Fox News that Sinclair and Windschitl are expected to attend the governor’s events in Iowa on Saturday.

DeSantis will be in Iowa the same day as former President Donald Trump, who’s the current overwhelming front-runner in the Republican nomination race as he runs a third straight time for the White House. Trump is scheduled to hold an evening rally in Des Moines.

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The two high-profile endorsements for DeSantis in Iowa – which were first reported by the Des Moines Register – come a week after he landed the support of a top state GOP lawyer in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary and second overall contest in the Republican nominating schedule. That endorsement came from state House Majority Leader Jason Osborne.

Trump released a dozen endorsements from Iowa Republican leaders ahead of a March stop in Davenport.

And at a campaign event in New Hampshire two weeks ago, the former president unveiled a list of roughly 50 endorsements from Granite State Republicans.

Former President Donald Trump speaks

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on April 27, 2023, in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

While DeSantis remains on the 2024 sidelines, he’s expected to launch a presidential campaign in the coming weeks.

The governor said last week that he’ll decide “relatively soon” whether he will launch a 2024 GOP presidential campaign.

DeSantis, who won an overwhelming 19-point gubernatorial re-election victory last November, said at a news conference last Friday marking the end of Florida’s legislative session, “I felt very confident going into November ’22 we were gonna do very well, but you really had to put up or shut up on that.”

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Asked about his 2024 plans, the governor said, “What happens in the future? We’ll get on that relatively soon. You either gotta put or shut up on that as well. So we’ll see.”

But behind the scenes, he’s already made plenty of moves toward launching a campaign, including beefing up staff in Tallahassee. And the past couple of months, he’s made campaign-style stops in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the first three states to vote in the GOP presidential nominating calendar.

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