Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds will endorse Ron DeSantis for president ahead of the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Reynolds will announce the endorsement at a rally in Des Moines on Monday.

Per NBC News:

Reynolds’ endorsement is a major boost for the Florida governor, who’s gone all-in on Iowa since launching his bid for the GOP nomination in May. DeSantis currently trails former President Donald Trump by 27 points in the Hawkeye State, according to the latest NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll — and he is also tied for second place with rival Nikki Haley, with the former United Nations ambassador catching up to DeSantis after he spent months pitching himself to GOP voters as the party’s main alternative to Trump.

Now, DeSantis has the support of the state’s popular governor as he tries to climb back up the ladder and challenge Trump in the Jan. 15 caucuses, the first contest of the 2024 GOP presidential race. More Iowa Republicans viewed Reynolds favorably — 81% — than any of the presidential candidates in the August NBC/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll, and her support could lift DeSantis’ chances of pulling off an upset.

DeSantis’ campaign believes beating Trump in Iowa — or at least coming close — is the way to block the former president from running away with the Republican nomination, and DeSantis is pooling most of his resources to try to achieve that goal. In October, the campaign moved a third of its staff to Iowa from Tallahassee, Florida. It also used a significant portion of its cash on hand to make a $2 million ad buy in the state.

“A Kim Reynolds endorsement means NOTHING in Iowa, or anywhere else. This proves it,” Trump War Room wrote.

The account shared these statistics on social media:

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“Kim Reynolds apparently has begun her retirement tour early as she clearly does not have any ambition for higher office,” the Trump campaign stated.

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“Trump endorsed Kim Reynolds and helped get her elected How did she repay him? By endorsing his opponent, another disloyal governor who took Trump’s endorsement only to backstab him a few years later The 1 silver lining here is that we now know who’s who No more hiding,” DC Draino wrote.

From the Des Moines Register:

Donald Trump turned his ire on Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Monday, criticizing her in a Truth Social post for choosing to remain neutral in the 2024 Iowa caucuses rather than endorsing his candidacy.

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

Reynolds, like several of Iowa’s top elected officials, has pledged not to endorse any candidate ahead of the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses this year to help ensure they all find an even playing field in Iowa.

“I want to welcome everyone to this state,” Reynolds told the Des Moines Register in a February interview. “And if I weigh in, I don’t know if they’ll feel all that welcome. But, you know, I’ve made it clear, I will be happy to help introduce you, help travel the state, connect in any way that I can — especially to make sure that if we’ve got big things going on that they know about it.”

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A Reynolds spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment Monday.

In his post, Trump took credit for Reynolds’ political rise, including for naming former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as his ambassador to China in 2016, which cleared the way for Reynolds, who was lieutenant governor at the time, to ascend to the top job.

Reynolds had a difficult first election against prominent Des Moines businessman Fred Hubbell in 2018, at times appearing to trail him in the polls. Trump attended a rally for Reynolds about a month before Election Day, and she ultimately won by about 3 percentage points.

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