Former President Donald Trump is endorsing Sen. Joe Gruters’ re-election in the Florida Senate.

“Joe Gruters is delivering tremendous results for the incredible people of Florida!” Trump said in a statement released by his Save America PAC. “A proud fourth generation Sarasotan and small business owner, Joe is fighting hard to Grow Florida’s Economy, Create Great Jobs, Lower Taxes, Slash Regulations, and Ensure Free, Fair, and Honest Elections.

“Joe did a wonderful job as Florida State Chair of my 2016 Campaign — he is a MAGA Champion. Joe Gruters has my Complete and Total Endorsement for Florida’s State Senate District 23!”

Thanks to redistricting, Gruters is running in Senate District 22.

The backing comes as no surprise as Gruters, one of the earlier backers of Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. He co-chaired the Florida arm of Trump’s campaign that year, helping secure Florida’s electoral votes for Trump’s surprise victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton. The same year, Gruters won election to the Florida House, and he since won a seat in the state Senate.

Since that point, Gruters’ stature has only growth with the Florida GOP. In 2018, he won election as chair of the Republican Party of Florida and was re-elected in 2020. That year, while Trump lost re-election nationwide, he won Florida by three percentage points.

Of note, Gruters as a member of the state Senate pushed for changes in election law such as limiting the use of drop boxes for ballots and voting by mail. He withered criticism when texts surfaced showing Gruters citing partisan concerns about mail voting. He has since praised Florida for having some of the strongest election protections in the nation.

This year, Gruters runs for a Senate term for the third time in three cycles and faces only primary challenger Michael Johnson, a Seminole County conservative activist. While Johnson has spoken little to the media, his run appears motivated by anger at a decision by Gruters to uphold a grievance complaint involving Johnson with the Seminole County Republican Executive Committee.

Because only Republicans have filed in the district, all voters there are eligible to vote.

Last updated on June 29, 2022

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