Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) dropped out of the Republican presidential primary Sunday, marking the end of a stunning rise and fall for a candidate once seen as the most formidable rival to former President Trump.
In a video message, he also endorsed Trump.
DeSantis had been seen as the most viable Trump alternative after cruising to reelection as Florida governor during last year’s midterm elections. His victory was in sharp contrast to how other Republicans performed around the country, including many who had been endorsed by Trump.
The Florida governor launched his official bid in May with the support of a number of GOP campaign veterans in his campaign apparatus and super PAC.
But DeSantis was not able to gain traction against Trump, his onetime political ally. DeSantis’s campaign got off to a rocky start when its Twitter Spaces launch was plagued with technical glitches. And the governor faced criticism for his personality on the campaign trail, with critics labeling him as awkward.
Though he placed second in the Iowa caucuses on Monday, he still fell well short of Trump, winning just 21 percent support to Trump’s 51 percent. He was widely expected to fare poorly in New Hampshire, where former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is seen as the most competitive rival to the former president.