“The next President of the United States must be a vibrant and energetic leader with the faith, vision, and courage to chart a new course,” Roy said in a campaign email. “America needs a leader who will truly defend her and empower the people against the destructive force of unrestrained government and corporate excess, profligate spending, and woke cultural indoctrination.”
“That leader is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.”
Roy further stated that he will support whomever Republicans nominate as their 2024 nominee.
DeSantis has not yet thrown his hat into the 2024 ring, which currently includes former President Donald Trump, former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, and former pharmaceutical executive Vivek Ramaswamy.
Trump was the first to announce, beginning his return bid back in November after the midterm election that proved lackluster for Republicans across the country.
“As Governor, [DeSantis] unequivocally has made Florida stronger and freer,” Roy added. “Economic growth and prosperity in Florida surged upon his firm rejection of the devastating COVID mandates foisted upon us by foolishly empowered Washington bureaucrats. He stared down woke corporate America and higher education. And he stood with Texas in defense of our border – sending a message to elites in Martha’s Vineyard that they cannot ignore the human and economic toll of open borders.”
Roy did not mention Trump at all, but the closest he came were his comments on the most recent midterm.
The Texas congressman stated, “[DeSantis] has also proven his ability to win at the ballot box time and time again. When other Republicans were faltering in key races, Governor DeSantis provided a positive vision for the future with prudent, conservative action. The result was crystal clear: Republicans enjoyed sweeping, historic performances statewide.”
Only one Trump-endorsed candidate in an open battleground U.S. Senate seat won his general — J.D. Vance in Ohio — despite the former president’s slate performing well during the primary.
This caused Trump’s approval within Republican circles to wane a bit. A November 14 CWS Research poll — which has been tracking 2024 presidential GOP matchups in Texas — found DeSantis up 11 percent on Trump after the midterm debacle. But that shift has tempered in recent polls.
The January iteration found Trump back up, but only by 1 point; the former president had been leading DeSantis by a substantial margin before the midterm, with the Florida governor well ahead of the rest of the potential field.
Roy is the first Texas congressman to endorse someone other than Trump in the race. At an October rally in Robstown, Reps. Ronny Jackson (R-TX-13), Pat Fallon (R-TX-4), and Wesley Hunt (R-TX-38) — then a candidate, who won his congressional race that November — all endorsed Trump.
Roy and Trump have sparred before, with the Texas congressman willing to criticize the former president where points of disagreement or disapproval exist.
The biggest break between the two came when Roy voted to certify the presidential electors and objected to the results of congressional elections, to prove a point about the selective nature of congressional Republicans’ strategy in contesting the 2020 election results.
After that, Roy mounted a challenge to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) for a House GOP leadership position, an effort to push the body rightward on policy. Trump himself jumped into the contest, stating, “Can’t imagine Republican House Members would go with Chip Roy — he has not done a great job, and will probably be successfully primaried in his own district.”
Roy easily won his 2022 primary despite his 2020 opponent Matt McCall asking the former president for his endorsement; McCall did not run against Roy last year.
The Texas congressman played a pivotal role in the U.S. House speakership saga, which Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) won after 15 rounds of voting. Roy held out initially, demanding certain chamber rules changes and other reforms or promises, but eventually voted for McCarthy and lobbied other holdouts to give their consent. Trump reportedly spent a lot of time calling those holdout members, pushing them to get on board with McCarthy, whom he endorsed.
The 2024 GOP primary has already garnered more candidates than four years ago, in which Trump was unopposed as an incumbent. But the potential matchup most are eyeing is the one between two Florida men — one who resides in Palm Beach and the other in Tallahassee.
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Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.