ORLANDO, Fla. – President Donald Trump on Friday endorsed U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis for governor of Florida.
In a tweet, Trump said, "Ron is strong on Borders, tough on Crime & big on Cutting Taxes - Loves our Military & our Vets. He will be a Great Governor & has my full Endorsement!"
DeSantis, a native Floridian, was elected to Congress in 2013.
"We're proud to have the full support of President Trump," said DeSantis' campaign spokesman David Vasquez. "As a top conservative leader in Florida, taxpayer superhero and an Iraq veteran, Ron DeSantis will make a great governor of Florida."
A recent Fox News poll, showed Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam leading DeSantis 32-17 among likely Republican voters. Nearly four in 10, however, said they are undecided on a candidate.
The poll shows that immigration is the top issue for Florida’s Republican primary voters.
Asked the most important issue facing Florida, 22 percent said immigration, 16 percent chose health care, 15 percent picked the economy, 12 percent said gun policy and 10 percent identified the opioid crisis.
Trump's endorsement comes as Florida's wide open election is officially under way.
Candidates running for the Legislature and state offices had until noon Friday to qualify for the 2018 ballot.
The departure of Gov. Rick Scott and the opening of two Cabinet offices triggered a long line of candidates to run for office. Barring any last-minute entrants, there are 17 candidates running for governor. Seven people are running for agriculture commissioner and five are vying to become the state's next attorney general.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is running for a full term after he was appointed to the job last year.
Twenty state Senate seats and all 120 House seats are also up for grabs this year.
But several incumbent legislators are getting new terms because no one ran against them.
Congressman Ron DeSantis, a top student at Yale and Harvard Law School, is running for Governor of the Great State of Florida. Ron is strong on Borders, tough on Crime & big on Cutting Taxes - Loves our Military & our Vets. He will be a Great Governor & has my full Endorsement!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018