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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds tried to remain neutral. On Monday, she'll endorse Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at an event with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on March 10 in Davenport, Iowa.
Ron Johnson
/
AP
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at an event with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on March 10 in Davenport, Iowa.

Iowa's popular Republican governor, Kim Reynolds, will endorse her fellow governor, Florida's Ron DeSantis, in the Iowa Caucus, according to a source familiar with the matter. She will appear at an event alongside DeSantis in Des Moines on Monday evening.

The high profile endorsement in the first-in-the-nation voting contest for the Republican primary comes as DeSantis and former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley battle for second place in the polls. Former President Donald Trump remains the frontrunner.

Reynolds has remained neutral as Republican presidential hopefuls have visited the state throughout the year but she regularly signaled she wouldn't rule out making an endorsement. News of the expected endorsement was first reported in the Des Moines Register.

Notably, Reynolds appeared numerous times with DeSantis as he works to visit all of Iowa's 99 counties ahead of the January 15th caucuses. Both Republican governors handily won re-election in their respective states in last year's midterm elections when Republicans nationally did not do as well as they'd hoped.

Trump's campaign put out a release following the news saying Reynolds has apparently quote "begun her retirement tour early as she clearly does not have any ambition for higher office."

The Trump campaign has battled with Reynolds in the past over her neutral stance and has criticized the governor for not throwing her political power behind Trump.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Clay Masters
Clay Masters is Iowa Public Radio’s Morning Edition host and lead political reporter. He was part of a team of member station political reporters who covered the 2016 presidential race for NPR. He also covers environmental issues.