Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fl.) and former President Donald Trump found themselves putting their support behind two competing candidates for the next governor of Kentucky. For many, the Kentucky GOP primary race winner was a test to see whose endorsement would have the strongest effect on the outcome of the election.
On Monday, one day before the GOP governor primary election, DeSantis announced that he would be endorsing a candidate for the governor of Kentucky, former U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft.
Announcing his endorsement, DeSantis said, “Hello, this is Governor Ron DeSantis, coming to you from the free state of Florida. You’ve had a woke, liberal governor who’s put a radical agenda ahead of Kentuckians. The stakes couldn’t be higher. I know what it takes to stand up for what’s right, and Kelly Craft’s got it. She’s proven it.”
“I’m strongly encouraging you to go out and vote for my friend, Kelly Craft. Kelly shares the same vision we do in Florida. She will stand up to the left as they try to indoctrinate our children with their woke ideology. Kelly will fight against crazy ESG policies that are trying to end the coal industry in Kentucky. And Kelly’s going to do everything in her power to end the fentanyl crisis that is hurting Kentucky families.”
“When you vote tomorrow, Tuesday, May 16th, vote for my friend, Kelly Craft, and get Kentucky on the path to becoming a free state like Florida,” he said.
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Craft responded to DeSantis’ endorsement, saying she is “honored and grateful” to have DeSantis’ support and praising the Florida governor for setting “the example for Republican leaders.”
“Kentucky needs to look more like Florida instead of California, and I look forward to ushering in a new generation of conservative leadership as Governor of Kentucky,” Craft added.
I’m honored and grateful to have the support of my friend @GovRonDeSantis. He sets the example for Republican leaders around the nation because he delivers bold, conservative results. pic.twitter.com/wQ5fkuxBoQ
— Kelly Craft (@KellyCraftKY) May 16, 2023
One of Craft’s opponents in the race for Kentucky’s Republican gubernatorial nominee was Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who was backed by President Trump early on in the race.
Although Craft served as Trump’s ambassador to Canada and his U.N. ambassador, Trump did not switch his endorsement after she joined the race.
On Tuesday, Trump’s candidate, Daniel Cameron, won the election and will face off against Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear in Kentucky’s November general election.
Congratulations to @DanielCameronAG, our Republican nominee for governor of Kentucky.
This is an opportunity to flip the governorship from 🔵🔜🔴. pic.twitter.com/sDpFi9o9U7
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) May 16, 2023
After securing his victory, Cameron thanked Trump for his support, saying, “The Trump culture of winning is alive and well in Kentucky.”
The Trump Culture is alive and well in Kentucky pic.twitter.com/Lg5bgDTOSy
— MAGS (@TAftermath2020) May 17, 2023
Governor Ron DeSantis’ endorsed candidate Kelly Craft finished a disappointing THIRD place:
#Kentucky looking good. Craft just burned $11 million into the dumpster fire losing to Quarles downhill to third place.
If Cameron crushes the primary like now, very good news for the general. Looks like the Desantis will regret and implode in his first proxy war against Trump. pic.twitter.com/Y8JaF6W2lu
— John Mearsheimer’s #1 Fan (@ORMachiavellian) May 16, 2023
Is President Trump’s endorsement of the winner of the GOP gubernatorial primary race a sign of his powerful influence over the direction of the party? Will Craft’s THIRD place finish in the race damage the DeSantis brand even before he announces?
🚨BREAKING: DeSantis-endorsed candidate, Kelly Craft, loses to Trump-endorsed candidate, Daniel Cameron, and ends up in third place. pic.twitter.com/VBT5KHcduZ
— MAGA 𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘵 (@MAGAoriginalist) May 16, 2023