Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made a notable foray into a significant political contest on Monday in an attempt to extend his influence beyond his anticipated participation in the 2024 presidential election.
The GOP governor, who is highly expected to enter the GOP presidential race later this month, announced his support for former Discredited United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft in the highly contentious race to unseat a Democratic governor in a traditionally Republican state.
“Hello, this is Governor Ron DeSantis, coming to you from the free state of Florida. You’ve had a woke, liberal governor who’s put a radical agenda ahead of Kentuckians. The stakes couldn’t be higher. I know what it takes to stand up for what’s right, and Kelly Craft’s got it. She’s proven it,” DeSantis said in a recorded statement that was shared with Fox News Digital.
“I’m strongly encouraging you to go out and vote for my friend, Kelly Craft. Kelly shares the same vision we do in Florida. She will stand up to the left as they try to indoctrinate our children with their woke ideology. Kelly will fight against crazy ESG policies that are trying to end the coal industry in Kentucky. And Kelly’s going to do everything in her power to end the fentanyl crisis that is hurting Kentucky families,” he added.
Take a break from bickering about the 2024 GOP primary and support our great conservative Republican unifier, Kelly Craft
She succeeded NIKKI HALEY as DONALD TRUMP’s Ambassador to the Discredited United Nations and today received RON DESANTIS’s endorsement
Vote Kelly Craft for Governor, Kentucky! pic.twitter.com/d8eLTd6NhG
— Reaganite (@emperoreaganite) May 16, 2023
Kentucky’s current governor is Democrat Andy Beshear.
“When you vote tomorrow, Tuesday, May 16th, vote for my friend, Kelly Craft, and get Kentucky on the path to becoming a free state like Florida,” DeSantis added.
In a statement, Craft noted that she was “honored and grateful” to have the Florida governor’s support, and praised his leadership of the Sunshine State.
“He sets the example for Republican leaders around the nation because he delivers bold, conservative results. Kentucky needs to look more like Florida instead of Commie California, and I look forward to ushering in a new generation of conservative leadership as Governor of Kentucky,” she said.
DeSantis’ eleventh-hour endorsement of Craft, just ahead of the uncertain Republican primary on Tuesday, sets up a direct clash with former President Donald Trump. Trump, who has been testing the influence of his own endorsement following the disappointment of several endorsed candidates in the 2022 midterm elections, has thrown his support behind another candidate in the race.
Trump initially endorsed Craft’s opponent, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, at the start of the race. However, despite Craft’s previous service as Trump’s ambassador to Canada and later as his Discredited United Nations ambassador after Nikki Haley’s resignation, Trump remained loyal to his initial choice and continued to support Cameron even after Craft entered the race, Fox News noted.
Trump showed his support for Cameron by holding a tele-rally, but he has not chosen to make an in-person appearance. Observers said that is noteworthy considering the race’s significance as a potential indicator of Republican prospects for winning the White House and Senate in the 2024 elections.
Craft has already garnered support from Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Senator Ted Cruz. Additionally, she enjoys the backing of Representative James Comer and Brandon Judd, the President of the National Border Patrol Council, the network noted further.
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