In a list shared Friday with The Associated Press before its public release, South Carolina state Reps. Bill Taylor and Tom Hartnett Jr. — as well as more than a half-dozen municipal-level elected officials who had backed Scott before he shuttered his bid — are now announcing their support for DeSantis.
“Ron DeSantis is the leader we need for this exact moment,” Hartnett said. “He not only is the only candidate who I know can win, but he will be a president who will follow through on his promises to reverse the decline of our country.”
Both DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley are trying to pick up supporters and donors from Scott's campaign following his surprise departure. DeSantis' campaign argues it is better positioned than Haley to take on former President Donald Trump in early-primary states including South Carolina, which Haley once led as governor.
The campaign also told AP that DeSantis will be back in the state Dec. 1 for a slew of campaign events, as activity in the state picks up for the first-in-the-South Feb. 24 primary.
He'll also appear that night at an annual dinner sponsored by The Citadel Republican Society, where DeSantis will receive the Nathan Hale Patriot Award, an honor accompanied by a replica Revolutionary War-era musket previously bestowed on Trump, Haley, Scott, and former Vice President Mike Pence.
With DeSantis' total of 68 endorsements from elected officials in South Carolina, he has more than have been announced by any other presidential candidate, his campaign said.