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Iowa state Senator support for Trump sours, shifts to DeSantis


An Iowa Republican senator revoked his endorsement of former President Donald Trump after he attacked Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on social media.

First-term Republican state Sen. Jeff Reichman announced Thursday that he now endorses Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for president in 2024 after Trump slammed the popular GOP governor on his social media site, Truth Social, after she abstained from endorsing a GOP presidential primary candidate in 2024.

“Trump is very outspoken. We’ve come to expect that, and that’s fine when it was focused at the right people,” Reichman said in an interview with the Des Moines Register. “And then this week, when it became focused on our governor … I felt like it was the right thing to do to look out for our governor, our home team here. Keeping that in mind, I decided to pull my endorsement for Trump.”

“I decided to pull my endorsement for Trump.”

— Jeff Reichman, Iowa State Senator 

Former President Donald is criticizing Iowa GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds for staying neutral in the 2024 presidential race

Former U.S. President Donald Trump greets supporters accompanied by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds during a campaign rally, in Davenport, Iowa, U.S. March 13, 2023. (Reuters)

Kim Reynolds

Kim Reynolds, governor of Iowa, speaks during a campaign kickoff event for Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, in Clive, Iowa, US, on Tuesday, May 30, 2023.  (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Reichman added that Gov. Reynolds was “like family,” and after Trump’s remarks, he decided to pull his endorsement and support Gov. DeSantis presidential run.

Trump claimed he “opened up” the gubernatorial position for Reynolds in 2018, then endorsed her “when she fell behind.”

“I don’t invite her to events!” Trump wrote.


In a following Twitter post, DeSantis called the Hawkeye State’s governor a “strong leader” who knows how to “ignore the chirping.”

“Kim Reynolds is a strong leader who knows how to ignore the chirping and get it done.” DeSantis wrote in a Twitter post. “She earned a landslide re-election because she delivered big results, and she is poised to deliver even more for Iowans in the special session.”

Kim Reynolds

Kim Reynolds, governor of Iowa, introduces former US President Donald Trump, not pictured, during an “America First Education Policy” event in Davenport, Iowa, US, on Monday, March 13, 2023. (Miriam Alarcon Avila/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Trump in 2017 nominated longtime Republican Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as U.S. ambassador to China. Reynolds – who was lieutenant governor at the time – succeeded Branstad as governor. The then-president endorsed Reynolds ahead of her narrow election in 2018 to a full term in office. Reynolds was easily re-elected by 19 points last year.

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson called Trump’s criticism of Reynolds “dictatorial,” saying that “America deserved better than Donald Trump.”


“No one should be attacked for declining to endorse a politician. That behavior is dictatorial,” former Gov. Asa Hutchinson wrote in a Twitter post. “I applaud @KimReynoldsIA for welcoming all GOP candidates into Iowa. America deserves better than Donald Trump.”

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called the governor a “conservative rock star” in a Twitter post. “Like I always say, Iowa grows strong women!”

Nikki Haley, Kim Reynolds

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley (C) smiles as Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (L) introduces her. Haley held a town hall in Urbandale, Iowa, after announcing her candidacy for President of the United States.  (Greg Hauenstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Republican Govs. Kim Reynolds of Iowa and Ron DeSantis of Florida team up in March

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a campaign event with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday, March 10, 2023, in Davenport, Iowa.  (AP Photo/Ron Johnson)

While remaining neutral, Reynolds has hosted a number of presidential hopefuls to her home state including former Vice President Mike Pence and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.

Reynolds joined Casey DeSantis’ launch of “Mamas for DeSantis” last week, a campaign to draw more women and parents to the DeSantis camp. 

The DeSantis campaign on Thursday also announced two new legislative endorsements from Rep. Josh Meggers, R-Grundy Center, and Rep. Matt Rinker, R-Burlington.


Thirty-nine Iowa lawmakers have endorsed DeSantis, according to DeSantis’ Never Back Down press release.

Sen. Reichman’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

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