Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds will endorse Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over former President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination at a rally in Des Moines on Monday evening, sources familiar with the planning of the event confirmed to Fox News.
The endorsement is seen as a boost for DeSantis’ presidential hopes as polls see the governor trailing front-runner Trump in a distant second.
Reynolds, the popular two-term GOP governor of the state, is set to join DeSantis at his rally in Des Moines as a “special guest,” according to a social media account associated with the Florida governor’s presidential campaign.
Reynolds faced criticism from Trump earlier this year for her pledge to stay neutral in the presidential nomination race, which is in line with previous Iowa governors. The Iowa caucuses have kicked off the GOP presidential nominating calendar for half a century.
While DeSantis appears to have gotten crucial support from Reynolds, seven state legislators from Florida endorsed Trump last week, including five state Republicans who flipped their support from DeSantis, according to the Trump campaign.
“We’re going to win the Florida primary for the third straight time, and we’re going to win the state by a landslide next November,” Trump told a lively crowd Saturday evening in Kissimmee, Florida, before calling to the stage several Florida lawmakers who switched their endorsements from DeSantis.
The latest flips came two days after U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, DeSantis’ predecessor as governor, announced his support for Trump. Scott reaffirmed his choice Saturday, without ever mentioning DeSantis.
“You might have seen that I endorsed President Trump,” Scott said to rapturous applause from the crowd. “I don’t think there’s any question in my mind. He is the one person running that can really bring strength back to our country.”
As DeSantis and Trump remain locked in picking off Republican support from each other, a close eye is being kept on the endorsement of another early-state governor: New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a vocal GOP Trump critic.
Sununu has said he’ll endorse one of the Republican presidential candidates ahead of the New Hampshire primary.
Sununu told Fox News Digital in September that “when someone strikes my fancy… I’ll let everybody know.”
Fox News’ Bryan Llenas and The Associated Press contributed to this report.