Iowa Christian Leader Will Support DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will receive the support of Bob Vander Plaats, an evangelical Christian who heads The Family Leader, an influential social conservative group.

Citing an anonymous source, The New York Times reported that Vander Plaats will announce his decision Tuesday evening.

It will make him the second significant endorsement for DeSantis in the state, the first being Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds earlier this month.

Vander Plaats’ endorsement has been critical in the last three GOP primary cycles.

It propelled Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in 2016, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania in 2012, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2008 to victory in the Iowa Caucus.

DeSantis hinted at the coming endorsement Tuesday, telling reporters during a campaign stop in New Hampshire that he was “hopeful” his team could “secure” it, CNN noted.

“We have a good relationship,” DeSantis said about Vander Plaats. “And I think that Bob has been somebody that’s been very vocal about [former President] Donald Trump is not going to be the way forward.”

Among the issues Vander Plaats has championed include pro-life causes. Over the weekend, Vander Plaats said at an event that abortion was the most important factor in determining his support for a candidate.

“If they are not crystal clear where they are on the sanctity of human life, you can’t trust them on anything else,” Vander Plaats said, according to The Times.

Trump’s team called out DeSantis for a super PAC linked to him donating $95,000 to The Family Leader in August – a contribution that the former president characterized as an attempt to “buy” his endorsement.

“WOW — it looks like Ron DeSanctimonious has been exposed for trying to ‘buy’ the endorsement of Bob Vander Plaats for nearly $100,000,” stated the Trump campaign. “This totally and completely makes any future endorsement compromised.

“What does this say about DeSanctus, whose numbers are dropping like a rock, that he has to try to ‘buy’ endorsements? Not a good look,” they added.

Despite the Florida governor racking up endorsements, Trump still holds a considerable lead over DeSantis ahead of the Jan. 15 caucus.

A recent Civiqs poll shows Trump ahead of DeSantis in the state by 36 percentage points, 54% to 18%.

Luca Cacciatore |

Luca Cacciatore, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is based in Arlington, Virginia, reporting on news and politics.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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