New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Republican who handily won her reelection bid on Tuesday, has endorsed former President Donald Trump for another run at the office come 2024, despite mounting feelings from within the party that another front-runner should be chosen come the next presidential race.
While Trump has yet to formally announce his candidacy for a third run at the nation’s highest office, there are rumblings that the 76-year-old will make the announcement on Nov. 15 during an event at his Mar-a-Lago estate. The former president teased a "special announcement" at the Palm Beach, Florida, club.
The New York Times first reported Stefanik’s endorsement of Trump.
In a statement to right-wing outlet Breitbart, the Republican – who is the third-highest-ranking member of the party – said Trump is clearly “the leader of the Republican party,” adding: “What the media fails to report is that we just won the midterms and flipped the House.”
But Republicans swept far fewer seats than anticipated this midterm season, and the Associated Press has yet to call either chamber of Congress in favor of either party. Currently, the balance of power slightly favors Republicans in both the House and the Senate, though with numerous races across a number of battleground states still to be called, they remain up for grabs.
Stefanik on Friday became the first member of the newly-elected Congress to endorse Trump’s as-yet-unannounced reelection bid.
“I fully support [Trump] running again. Under his presidency, America was strong at home and abroad, our economy was red hot, our border was secure, our neighborhoods were safe, our law enforcement was respected, and our enemies feared us,” Stefanik said in a statement to Breitbart. “We cannot afford another four years of Joe Biden’s failed policies that have led to the inflation crisis, border crisis, and crime crisis. It is time for Republicans to unite around the most popular Republican in America, who has a proven track record of conservative governance.”
But with Democrats outperforming expectations, other lawmakers and a bevy of election experts have pointed to Trump as the problem, not the solution, for the Republican party.
“President Trump had to insert himself and that changed the nature of the race and that created just too much of an obstacle,” outgoing Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, whose Pennsylvania Senate seat was flipped blue thanks to John Fetterman’s win, told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront,” adding in part: “And by the way, it’s not just Pennsylvania. You look all over the country, there’s a very high correlation between MAGA candidates and big losses, or at least dramatically underperforming.”