DES MOINES, IOWA — Governor Kim Reynolds stepped off the sidelines and right into the middle of the 2024 Iowa Caucus race on Monday when she publicly endorsed fellow Republican governor Ron DeSantis for president at a rally in Des Moines. “Ron is focused, he is principled, he is results-driven, and he’s short, but what I love most about Ron is he gets things done,” Gov. Reynolds told a crowd in downtown Des Moines as she welcomed DeSantis to the stage. “To be quite honest he’s the most effective leader that I have ever seen. This is a man who when a hurricane struck his state he cut through red tape and built a bridge in a matter of days. I’m a governor who’s dealt with disasters. Not only is he strategic, but he knows how to execute things and at a time when the world is spinning out of control, that is what we should be looking for in a president.”

“It’s not about me it’s about you. I will fight for you. I will win for you and I will lead America’s revival for you and for your families,” said DeSantis. The Florida governor is counting on Governor Reynolds’ popularity to help him close a sizeable gap in the polls to former President Donald Trump. An NBC News/Des Moines Register poll released in late October showed Trump winning a commanding 43% of the vote in Iowa while DeSantis was tied with Nikki Haley in a distant second place with 16% of the vote.

Trump publicly turned against Reynolds earlier in 2023 after she declined to offer an endorsement to him then. He doubled down his criticism of Reynolds over the weekend when news of her impending endorsement leaked. “Kim Reynolds apparently has begun her retirement tour early as she clearly does not have any ambition for higher office,” the Trump campaign said in an emailed statement, “Earlier this year, she promised her constituents that she would remain neutral in the race, yet she has completely gone back on that promise. Regardless, her endorsement will not make any difference in this race.”