Sign up for The Brief, The Texas Tribune’s daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.
U.S. Rep. Chip Roy on Wednesday endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to be the 2024 Republican presidential nominee, calling the Florida governor “a man of conviction” and saying he “unequivocally has made Florida stronger and freer.”
“Governor DeSantis makes clear he would lead our nation as commander in chief with the kind of resolve and sober strength that produces peace through strength,” the Austin Republican said in a campaign email to his supporters.
Roy’s endorsement appears to be the first official endorsement by a member of the Texas congressional delegation for DeSantis, who is widely expected to jump into the 2024 contest after the Florida legislature adjourns later this year.
Roy’s endorsement of DeSantis comes as support among Texas Republicans for former President Donald Trump wanes.
Trump has been blamed by some leaders in his own party for the GOP’s dull performance nationwide last November. He is also subject to numerous investigations for his private business and his role in attempting to overthrow the 2020 election, which he lost.
[U.S. Rep. Chip Roy emerges as key GOP agitator in U.S. House speaker fight]
Roy and Trump have had a testy relationship. The pair were previously at odds when Trump endorsed Roy’s rival in a House leadership election. Trump also refused to endorse Roy last fall in spite of endorsing almost all other GOP members of the Texas congressional delegation.
So far, three Texas Republicans in Congress have publicly endorsed Trump for the 2024 nomination: freshman U.S. Rep. Wesley Hunt of Houston, Rep. Troy Nehls of Richmond and Rep. Ronny Jackson of Amarillo, who is formerly Trump’s White House doctor.
Texas’ U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz have both communicated they would be willing to support a candidate other than Trump, with Cornyn going so far as to say he would like to “see some new blood.”
Roy’s national profile was elevated earlier this year when he helped lead a group of House Republicans in temporarily blocking Kevin McCarthy’s bid for House speaker. The California congressman ultimately received enough votes after making numerous concessions to Roy and others to weaken the speaker’s power.
We can’t wait to welcome you Sept. 21-23 to the 2023 Texas Tribune Festival, our multiday celebration of big, bold ideas about politics, public policy and the day’s news — all taking place just steps away from the Texas Capitol. When tickets go on sale in May, Tribune members will save big. Donate to join or renew today.