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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis exits Republican presidential race, backs Donald Trump

Ron DeSantis
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Ron DeSantis

The Florida governor came in a distant second in Iowa to former President Donald Trump and is polling a distant third ahead of the New Hampshire primary.


Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has reportedly dropped out of the GOP presidential race on Sunday following his poor performance in the Iowa caucuses and his slim prospects in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary.

The governor has signed numerous anti-LGBTQ+ bills into law including legislation restricting gender-affirming care and the state's notorious "don't say gay" law.

DeSantis made the announcement in a video posted to X, previously known as Twitter.

“If there was anything I could do to produce a favorable outcome, more campaign stops, more interviews, I would do it, but I can’t ask our supporters to volunteer their time and donate their resources if we don’t have a clear path to victory. Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign,” DeSantis said in the clip.

DeSantis initially posed the greatest threat to Trump's road to the Republican nomination for president, but he's now supporting him.

“While, I’ve had disagreements with Donald Trump, such as on the Coronavirus pandemic and his elevation of Anthony Fauci, Trump is superior to the current incumbent Joe Biden. That is clear,” he said.

DeSantis took the moment to bash former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who has stepped up her attacks on Trump as she also seeks the nomination.

“I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee and I will honor that pledge. He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear or repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents,” DeSantis said.

The Human Rights Campaign called out the governor's anti-LGBTQ+ record and said he relied too much on "bigotry."

“From the day he was sworn in as Governor, DeSantis set out to build a political brand on anti-LGBTQ+ hate,” said Human Rights Campaign president Kelley Robinson in a statement sent to The Advocate. “Yet even the base he was courting with his relentless bigotry rejected him. As the anti-freedom governor of Florida, DeSantis has used every lever of power against LGBTQ+ people: from wielding government agencies against health care and education to punishing those who speak out against his assaults on the community. Republican primary voters rejected DeSantis and the other candidates would do well to learn that campaigns built on anti-LGBTQ+ hate are a failing political strategy.”

Christopher Wiggins contributed reporting.

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