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4 New Hampshire Republicans who endorsed Trump 19 days ago are now backing DeSantis

In late April, Republican New Hampshire Rep. Juliette Harvey-Boria was one of dozens of lawmakers who voiced their support. Former President Donald Trump The announcement was made at a packed rally in Manchester.

On Tuesday, officials at Never Back Down, a super PAC that backs Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, said Harvey Boria is backing them. She is one of four members of Congress in New Hampshire, the others being Brian Cole, Lisa Smart and Debra Disimon. Never Back Down magazine pointed to Trump’s conversion to DeSantis in rolling out endorsements from the 51 state legislators who signed the next pledge. Come back DeSantis.

But Harvey Boria doesn’t think so.

“I stand by both,” she said in a phone interview. “Mr DeSantis has a lot of up-and-coming people and Mr Trump is still great.”

The unusual double endorsement adds an interesting twist as Mr. DeSantis tries to show that he is gaining momentum as he approaches a formal candidacy. Last week, his super PAC revealed the endorsement of 37 Iowa legislators just before he began a three-city tour of the state.

And NBC News confirmed Tuesday that it had invited major donors to a meeting in Miami on May 25, coinciding with the expected start of the election campaign.

DeSantis’ team expects more than 100 donors and other supporters to attend briefings with him and the senior team, according to people familiar with the plan.

But Harvey Boliah’s ambivalence has led to a fierce backstage battle for endorsements and an escalating battle to antagonize the eventual candidate as Trump and DeSantis battle for position. It also shows the immeasurable pressure on lawmakers. Three other New Hampshire Republicans who endorsed Trump in April and DeSantis on Tuesday did not respond to calls for comment.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Still, DeSantis’ supporters say they have high hopes for him in states with early voting and states with primaries later in the year. Iowa and New Hampshire are very important in the race for the Republican nomination because the caucuses and primaries are the first two election campaigns.

A Never Back Down strategist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “From what we saw in Iowa over the weekend, support for these bills shows what we’re seeing and feeling on the ground. I think you know what you are doing,” he said. political conspiracy. “I think what you’re seeing and feeling on the ground in New Hampshire will be very similar.”

DeSantis has struggled as the party’s standard-bearer to replace Trump, the two-time Republican nominee, as poll numbers have flattened in recent months.in the RealClearPolitics National Poll Average55% for Trump and 21% for DeSantis. Public polls of Iowa caucus attendees and New Hampshire voters showed Mr. Trump leading in each state.

DeSantis’ allies say the support in Iowa and New Hampshire is just the beginning of an effort to close the gap and win the nomination.

“This is about building a movement,” said the Never Back Down strategist. “It’s about building an organization to win. So this is just one step for him in the process. It’s not the endgame.”

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