DeSantis to headline rallies for leading GOP candidates across the country
The rallies are being touted by Turning Point Action as a way to help « unite » the Republican Party after a series of brutal, high-profile primary fights that have at times pitted the Trump-endorsed candidate against one backed by other Republicans from across the country. the establishment.
« Governor. DeSantis is America’s governor and one of America’s most popular leaders, » Charlie Kirk, founder and president of Turning Point Action, told Fox News, who was first to report on the DeSantis’ campaign effort « He has become the model for a new conservative movement that is prepared to stand up for its principles and actually fight on behalf of the values of its constituents. »
When contacted for comment by POLITICO, Turning Point USA Action said it had nothing to add beyond Kirk’s previous statement. The DeSantis campaign declined to comment.
The rallies, the first of which begins Aug. 14 in Phoenix for Masters and Lake, come just before the Aug. 23 primary in Florida. DeSantis faces no real primary challengers and is a heavy favorite heading into the general election, where he will face either Rep. charlie christ (D-Fla.), the former Republican governor of the state who is now running as a Democrat, or Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
Headlining a series of out-of-state rallies ahead of his own election campaign is a sign of his campaign team’s confidence in his position and another signal that DeSantis is trying to expand its national network ahead of what many see as a 2024 race for the White House. Although DeSantis has campaigned for other Republicans in the past, including Nevada GOP Senate hopeful Adam Laxalt, the August rallies represent the first time the governor has been deployed for such high-profile races before the mid – November mandates.
DeSantis’ handling of the pandemic, where he kept Florida’s economy shut down for much shorter periods than other states, helped endear him to conservatives. He’s now been dubbed ‘America’s Governor’ by Republicans across the country, has held multiple out-of-state fundraisers as big donors feel it, and is in high demand as candidates try to tap into some of the energy that DeSantis created with the GOP base. DeSantis has even beaten Trump in a handful of fictitious polls, although the former president is still hugely popular with the party.
Masters, the Republican Senate candidate from Arizona, says he hopes his state follows in Florida’s footsteps.
« Thanks to Mark Kelly, Arizonans have none of the basics – a secure border, safe streets, a functioning economy, or schools that actually teach our children, » he said in a statement. « In contrast, look at all that Governor Ron DeSantis has done to keep Floridians strong, safe, and free from the woke crowd. »
Lake, that state’s GOP gubernatorial candidate, beat Karrin Taylor Robson, backed by Mike Pence, to win her primary. A former newscaster who made false claims that the 2020 election was stolen, Lake said she would love to work with DeSantis.
« I am honored to call him an ally and look forward to him joining me in bringing the message and vision of our ‘America First’ campaign to the masses, » she said in a statement.
Some in the Republican Party are toying with the idea of creating distance from Trump at the start of the general election. There has been some fatigue among Republican donors across the country, and some party leaders increasingly see DeSantis as a way to create Trump-like energy and political outcomes in a less divisive way for Republicans — even as his focus on culture war-style fights makes him one of the most controversial political figures for the Democrats.
“There is heartburn among some conservatives about whether Trump is more divisive or energizing, especially in a general election. I don’t think there’s the same kind of heartburn around DeSantis,” said a Republican consultant familiar with the events of the DeSantis campaign. “There is no doubt that Trump played the main kingmaker. This could be an opportunity for DeSantis to play the role of kingmaker in the general.
“He might be the only political figure capable of uniting the different wings of the party,” the consultant said.
Masters and Vance are in two of the most watched Senate races as Republicans try to take control of the upper house. Democrats have a slight 50-50 advantage in the Senate as Vice President Kamala Harris provides a deciding vote.
This vote was needed over the weekend when, on a vote of 51 to 50, the Senate passed the vote long sought after by Democrats. climate, taxation and health packagewhich was seen as a big win ahead of the otherwise dismal midterm cycle for Democrats, especially with President Joe Biden’s approval rating hovering in the 30s.
Vance said in a statement that he looks forward to having DeSantis in Buckeye State.
The National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is led by Florida GOP Sen. Rick Scottsaid he welcomed rallies for his endorsed candidates.
“It’s great to see more people getting involved. We have great candidates across the country fighting to save our country from Joe Biden and the Democrats’ disastrous agenda,” NRSC spokesman Chris Hartline said. « Anyone who cares about the future of our country should get involved and help our candidates win. »
Natalie Allison contributed to this report.