(NewsNation) — Ron DeSantis returned to Washington on Tuesday for a meet-and-greet style event with dozens of Republican lawmakers. While ahead of the Florida governor’s expected presidential bid, is he gaining support in Congress?
Nine GOP lawmakers were listed as co-hosts of the Capitol Hill gathering, but Politico reports that only three of them were willing to endorse DeSantis.
Reps. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., Chip Roy, R-Texas, and Laurel Lee, R-Fla., have all endorsed DeSantis even though he has not formally launched his White House bid.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said being a co-host of the event did not equate an endorsement for DeSantis.
DeSantis served in the House for six years before making a gubernatorial run in 2018. He reportedly has avoided political gatherings in Washington in recent years.
According to The New York Times, former President Donald Trump has 45 endorsements from House Republicans, including seven from Florida. Trump’s team announced three Florida endorsements from Brian Mast, John Rutherford and Greg Stuebe the day before DeSantis arrived in Washington.
Trump unveiled his 2024 campaign five months ago. DeSantis has not formally announced a White House run.
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson are declared 2024 Republican candidates, calling on voters to elect someone other than Trump. Former Vice President Mike Pence is working to gain traction with Republican voters, and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., recently launched a presidential exploratory committee.
DeSantis is expected to return to Washington on Friday to speak at a conference for the Heritage Foundation.