Erstwhile President Trump gave Rep. Vern Buchanan a big boost on Monday in his primary against Sarasota Republican Martin Hyde, who had been picking up momentum with support from prominent members of Trump’s circle.
Trump endorsed Buchanan, thereby blunting Hyde’s efforts to challenge the eight-term congressman from the right.
Trump hails Buchanan as “a terrific representative of the people of Florida.”
In the statement enunciating his official endorsement of Buchanan, Trump said, “Congressman Vern Buchanan is a terrific representative of the people of Florida. He is working hard to lower our taxes, grow our economy, support our Military and Vets, protect our Seniors, and defend our Second Amendment. Vern has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”
The endorsement comes as a surprise in light of Buchanan’s radicalism
Buchanan has supported Trump but is not known as a MAGA stalwart. The congressman has pitched himself in the past as an independent-minded elected official willing to work across the aisle.
Buchanan opposed Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord and voted to certify the Electoral College results showing Joe Biden defeated Trump.
Hyde also has emphasized Buchanan’s willingness to support modest gun control measures. This stands in stark contrast to Trump’s devotion to the second amendment.
Hyde touted as the fervent conservative.
Hyde recently hired Trump adviser Roger Stone as a campaign consultant and received the endorsement of Michael Flynn. Flynn is Trump’s first national security adviser, and a well-regarded figure among MAGA devotees.
Those moves created the impression that Hyde’s campaign was gaining ground among the Trump base.
Buchanan expresses his gratitude.
“I am honored to have the endorsement of President Trump,” Buchanan said in a statement. “I look forward to working with him to take back the House so we can put our economy back on track, get people back to work, and restore America’s greatness.”
Hyde voices his contempt of the Buchanan endorsement plot-twist
Trump’s endorsement of Buchanan is a considerable setback for Hyde’s campaign in District 16. It covers Manatee County and portions of Sarasota and Hillsborough counties.
Hyde reacted to the endorsement by saying he supports Trump, but “then we all make poor choices.”
“Advocating for Covid booster shots is a poor choice, and so is supporting Vern Buchanan,” Hyde said in a text message concerning the fact that Trump told a Dallas crowd on Sunday that he received his booster shot.
“For now, I’ll keep at winning the endorsement of the voters of our district,” Hyde continued.
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