This Is Why an Iowa GOP Lawmaker Flipped From Trump to DeSantis

  • Iowa state Sen. Jeff Reichman on Thursday flipped his 2024 support from Trump to DeSantis.
  • Reichman made his move days after Trump publicly needled Reynolds over her neutrality in the race.
  • Both Trump and DeSantis are making a major play for Iowa, the first-in-the-nation GOP caucus state.

An Iowa Republican state lawmaker who had previously backed former President Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign switched his support to Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida days after the ex-president blasted the state’s governor, Kim Reynolds, over her neutrality in the GOP primary.

State Sen. Jeff Reichman said on Thursday that he was flipping from the Trump team to the DeSantis team, while also boosting Reynolds, a highly popular figure among the state’s Republican voters. In recent years, Reynolds has helped drive GOP policy wins on abortion, school choice, and child labor laws.

“Iowa Republicans must be united if we are going to take our country back and reverse Joe Biden’s failures,” Reichman said in a statement. “Gov. DeSantis has achieved the same type of commonsense policy victories in Florida as we have in Iowa under Gov. Kim Reynolds, and he will deliver historic success for the conservative movement as president as well.”

Reichman’s change of heart comes after The New York Times reported late last week that Trump had been privately grumbling about Reynolds’ appearances with DeSantis while also crediting his efforts for her narrow general election victory in 2018. The tension burst out in the open on Monday when Trump publicly lashed out at Reynolds.

Iowa, the critical first-in-the-nation caucus state for Republicans, has become a center of campaign activity in recent months.

The Times reported that Trump is frustrated that some Republicans whom he has endorsed in the past have not returned the favor regarding his 2024 campaign.

On Monday, he criticized Reynolds for her decision not to endorse a candidate.

“I opened up the Governor position for Kim Reynolds, & when she fell behind, I ENDORSED her, did big Rallies, & she won,” the former president wrote in a Truth Social post. “Now, she wants to remain ‘NEUTRAL.’ I don’t invite her to events!”

Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung dismissed Reichman, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq, over his shift in support.

“There is no room for weak-kneed and lily-livered people on Team Trump. Ron DeSanctimonious’ failing campaign is so desperate that he’s willing to offer buyouts in the form of fundraisers for endorsements,” the statement read. “The truth is that those who have been promised financial support are now regretting their deal with the devil because none of them have been able to schedule fundraisers with DeSantis.”

DeSantis spokesperson Andrew Romeo promptly responded to Cheung’s statement by slamming the former president’s White House campaign.

“Trump is losing steam in Iowa, and his failing campaign is now lashing out at former supporters. Sad!” Romero said in a statement.

Trump is set to visit Iowa next week and also speak at an Iowa Republican dinner later in the month.

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