In a newly released letter, nearly a quarter of State House Republicans are asking Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) to run for president in 2024 against former President Donald Trump.
“In clear contrast to our current governor, we have admired from afar the leadership you have shown.” the letter reads in part. “We believe you are uniquely and exceptionally qualified . . . We ask you to seek the presidential nomination . . . We stand ready and willing to help you win Michigan in 2024.”
The letter was written by Republican Floor Leader Representative Bryan Posthumus and signed by 17 other Republicans before it was flown to Florida to be hand delivered in December of 2022, according to Politico.
The release of the letter did not contain the names of the other Republican members. A request to learn those names was not answered.
Local 4 did reach out to Posthumus for an interview and to DeSantis’ office but did not get responses back.
The letter comes after Trump endorsed candidates at the top of the ticket and in several congressional races lost in the 2022 election. Trump lost Michigan in 2020 by more than 154,000 votes. Both losses have driven question as to his influence in Michigan, a key state for Republicans and the 2024 election.
It also points to the growing rift between members of the Michigan GOP who want to move on from the former president and those who remain steadfast. Many of the most steadfast members are like those currently vying to run the party who remain trump loyalists and continue to believe the 2020 election was fraudulent or stolen despite hundreds of audits, analysis and court rulings proving it wasn’t
Jeff Timmer is a former executive director of the Michigan Republican Party and co-founded the conservative group the Lincoln Project. He said the letter shows Trump still has strength in Michigan, despite the 2022 results.
“In one hand, [Republicans are] saying they want to move on from Donald Trump, but they’re so afraid of the influence Donald Trump has within the Republican Party, that they’re afraid to put their name out there saying they’re ready to move on from Donald Trump for fear of what Donald Trump will do to them,” Timmer said.