Des Moines, Iowa – Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO of The FAMiLY Leader, endorsed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for president in an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier on Tuesday. Vander Plaats, known for his influential endorsements in past elections, emphasized DeSantis’ ability to win in 2024.
Vander Plaats expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “I’m thrilled to throw my personal endorsement and support behind Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida.” He highlighted DeSantis’ success in turning Florida into a solidly Republican state, winning by an impressive 20-point margin and gaining support from diverse demographics. Vander Plaats commended DeSantis for his courageous and bold leadership.
Furthermore, Vander Plaats revealed that the DeSantis family attends his church in Iowa and emphasizes the importance of personal connections. Speaking about the recent Thanksgiving Family Forum, Vander Plaats shared that DeSantis convincingly made his case for a president who can serve two terms and fulfill their promises rather than becoming a lame duck from day one.
Addressing accusations that his endorsement was influenced by financial incentives, Vander Plaats vehemently denied any involvement, stating, “President Trump knows better than anybody that my endorsement has never been and never will be for sale.” He emphasized the imperative role the 2024 election plays, urging for a careful and strategic selection of the candidate.
With Vander Plaats’ endorsement, DeSantis now garners support from influential figures within the Republican party. A couple of weeks prior, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds also endorsed DeSantis, marking the first gubernatorial endorsement in the state’s primary in over three decades.
As the GOP primary unfolds, Vander Plaats believes the race remains primarily between DeSantis and former President Donald Trump. With this in mind, he called for other candidates to drop out, allowing for a one-on-one contest between the two front-runners.
Vander Plaats’ endorsement adds significant weight to Ron DeSantis’ presidential aspirations for 2024. Based on Vander Plaats’ successful track record of endorsements (his endorsements have won the state in 2008, 2012, and 2016 ), his support carries substantial influence within the Republican party.