In a speech to law enforcement in New York on Monday, former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), a supporter of Donald Trump who lost the November election for governor of New York to Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), presented the former president’s likely top challenger in 2024, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
At the event in Staten Island, Zeldin remarked, “Florida currently has an amazing governor who has spent years leading this state in the proper path.
He continued, “As we know in his heart, he is someone who is committed to making sure that the residents of his state have a fighter representing them to ensure that pro-criminal laws will not get passed in their state capitol, to ensure that prosecutors are doing their jobs and that they will be fired if they are not.
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DeSantis is rumored to be preparing for a run for president, and a declaration may come as soon as late May or early June.
Given that Zeldin has been a fervent backer of Trump, his participation is remarkable. Zeldin narrowly lost his bid for governor against Hochul in November. But, it appears from his attendance at the event with DeSantis that even some of the former president’s most ardent followers are keeping their options open in the 2024 presidential election.
Just Trump and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley have formally declared their candidacies thus far.
Republican candidates for the White House include former vice president Mike Pence, former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, senator from South Carolina Tim Scott, governors of South Dakota Kristi Noem and Asa Hutchinson, and former governors of Maryland Larry Hogan.
Likewise, there are rumors that Zeldin would run in 2024 against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).