Stitt endorses DeSantis, takes him on tour of Ponca City

Kevin Stitt, elected Governor of Oklahoma in 2019, received criticism from Trump for his endorsement of DeSantis. (Provided)
Ron DeSantis was elected Governor of Florida also in 2019, now planning a larger reach. (Provided)

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt made a campaign to Ponca City, OK with presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to rally support for DeSantis’ 2024 presidential bid.

The two governors first stopped in Tulsa on Saturday, where Stitt endorsed DeSantis as the 2024 Republican candidate. Stitt is the first governor to endorse DeSantis. They then flew to Ponca City for the 101 Wild West Rodeo to talk to people in Kay County. DeSantis brought his wife, Casey DeSantis, and their children to the Oklahoma events.

On Saturday, the rodeo recognized both active members and veterans of the military. The two governors presented an honor to a Ponca City Senior High alum, Colton Edens, who served in Afghanistan during the 2021 fall of Kabul. DeSantis delivered a speech, giving the packed crowd his plan if he is to become president. 

The Florida governor said he would not let what happened in Kabul happen again to our troops. Under former President Donald Trump, the U.S. and the Taliban agreed on Feb. 29, 2020 to end the war in Afghanistan without the Afghan government at the meeting. The result was chaos in the Afghan capital as citizens tried to escape before the Taliban takeover.

DeSantis also said that he would bring conservative ideas into schools and secure U.S. borders. 

“Freedom is one generation away from extinction,” DeSantis said.

Stitt made his second announcement that day that he endorses DeSantis. The two then met with many attendees, talking about the 2024 presidential race. A large crowd followed the two governors, asking questions about DeSantis’ plan.

Many spectators filled the rodeo grounds to see the two governors and watch the competition.

Torran Cremers, a Ponca City native, was there when DeSantis gave his speech.

“I think DeSantis has a great plan to get this country back on the right track,” Cremers said.

Kay County has been a red county for decades. In the 2023 U.S. House and Senate elections, all seats filled for Oklahoma for the county are Republican. 

The biggest hurdle for DeSantis is Trump, who said he is running for the 2024 presidential race as well.

“The only problem I see for DeSantis is how he is going to out-campaign with a guy like Trump,” Cremers said.

The Florida governor has ramped up his criticism toward Trump without directly calling him by name. DeSantis said the former president should have made changes to Social Security and Medicare. 

Trump was in North Carolina on Saturday in the wake of new indictments from the U.S. Department of Justice. 

His court appearance on Tuesday in Miami, Florida, is expected to draw a large crowd of pro-Trump supporters.

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