Three Utah senators encourage Gov. DeSantis to run for president

Nov 14, 2022, 5:00 PM | Updated: Nov 15, 2022, 11:57 am

Three Utah senators have added their names to the list of Utah lawmakers urging Florida Gov. Ron De...

Three of Utah's state senators have joined dozens of others in calling for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to run for the U.S. Presidency. (From left to right, Gov. Desantis, Sen. McKell, Sen. McKay, Sen. Weiler.) (Photo credits, from left to right, Octavio Jones/Getty Images, Utah Senate))

(Photo credits, from left to right, Octavio Jones/Getty Images, Utah Senate)

SALT LAKE CITY — Three more elected leaders in Utah are asking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to consider a run for the U.S. presidency.

“We recognize the need for a strong leader to guide and direct our nation,” Sen. Dan McCay, R-District 11, Sen. Todd Weiler, R-District 23, and Sen. Mike McKell, R-District 7, told DeSantis in a letter on Monday, “someone with a proven track record, strong conservative foundation, and who understands the operations of state government.”

DeSantis was in Utah in 2021 speaking at the American Legislative Exchange Council conference.

Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, was in Utah in 2021 speaking before the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

FILE: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential GOP presidential candidate speaks during the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (Jeffrey D. Allred /Deseret News)

Utah lawmakers cite DeSantis’ governing experience

DeSantis won his race for Florida governor last week, defeating Democratic candidate Charlie Crist by nearly 20%.

Before becoming governor of Florida, DeSantis represented Florida’s 6th congressional district.

“We need a leader who will strengthen and unify the nation,” the statement from McCay, Weiler, and McKell continued. 

“As elected officials in Utah, we call upon Gov. DeSantis to form an exploratory committee for President of the United States in 2024.”

Sens. McCay, Weiler, and McKell join 83 other Utah elected officials who have urged DeSantis to run.

Weiler joins KSL NewsRadio

Weiler joined Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News Monday to expand on the letter. Weiler says the letter came together over the weekend through text messaging among state and local leaders. 

“A lot of legislators were like me,” Weiler said. “They don’t want good, potential candidates for 2024, GOP candidates, to wait on the sideline, and kind of bend the knee to Donald Trump. We want to have a spirited debate.”

In the last two election cycles, Weiler says he has noticed independent voters and some moderate Republicans have refused to vote for former President Donald Trump.

“I know and I fear it will continue that we’re losing races that we should be able to win,” he said. 

Weiler says he won’t be shocked if other states come out in support of DeSantis in a similar way.

“I won’t be surprised because almost immediately when I started this,” he said. “We started getting inquiries, we had a county clerk say I got a county clerk in Nevada or another state that wants to sign this, can they sign? I said this is for Utah, tell them to start their own. So, I won’t be surprised if you see a few more of these.”

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Three Utah senators encourage Gov. DeSantis to run for president