Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas) announced on Tuesday that he is endorsing former President Trump for the GOP nomination for president in 2024 following a meeting with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
Gooden said in a statement posted on his Twitter account that he made the decision after “careful consideration” and a “positive meeting” with DeSantis. He said he has respect for DeSantis and his accomplishments as governor but believes Trump is the best candidate based on his record and “commitment to putting America first.”
“I met with Governor DeSantis, and while he has done commendable work in Florida, there is no doubt in my mind that President Trump is the only leader who can save America from the leftist onslaught we are currently facing,” he said.
Gooden is the latest House Republican to endorse Trump for the Republican nomination. Florida GOP Rep. John Rutherford announced his endorsement of Trump on Tuesday.
Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) announced he was backing Trump on Monday.
Trump has racked up numerous endorsements from House and Senate Republicans despite being the first former president to be criminally charged.
“I wholeheartedly endorse President Donald J. Trump for the 2024 presidential election and vow to fight alongside him to reclaim our country from the leftist forces that threaten to destroy it. Together, we will ensure a prosperous and secure future for our great nation,” Gooden said.
Trump has also gathered several endorsements from Florida Republicans, claiming support from members of DeSantis’ own state party. They include Reps. Cory Mills, Anna Paulina Luna, Byron Donalds and Matt Gaetz.
DeSantis has not publicly addressed whether he is planning to run for president but has been widely rumored to be considering a run. He has also consistently placed in second to Trump in hypothetical Republican primary polls.
He has also scheduled trips to early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire recently.