Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy is endorsing Donald Trump, giving the former president the support of a governor whose state is expected to hold its nominating contest on the all-important “Super Tuesday” primary date.
The endorsement comes as Trump expands his broad lead in support from Republican governors and federal lawmakers over his rivals in the GOP presidential primary. With Dunleavy’s backing, Trump has earned the support of three of the five Republican governors who have endorsed in the race. Trump has also received the support of over 80 members of Congress, more than 16 times the amount of his nearest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The former president has been aggressively courting the support of prospective endorsees; he recently spoke by phone with Dunleavy, whose state is expected to hold its primary on March 5, 2024, the same day that over a dozen states are expected to hold their nominating contests.
Trump’s relationship with Dunleavy stretches back to 2018, when he endorsed his first race for governor. Trump endorsed Dunleavy again in 2019, when the governor was facing a recall attempt, and again in 2022, when Dunleavy was up for reelection. Trump’s campaign plans to release a video on Tuesday thanking Dunleavy for his backing.
Most Republican governors have been hesitant to endorse in the race. Of the 26 GOP governors, only five have weighed in. (Two, DeSantis and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, are running.) Trump has received the support of South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, and Dunleavy. DeSantis has the backing of Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, and former Vice President Mike Pence has the support of his home state governor, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb.
Brian Jack, who served as Trump’s White House political director, has been leading the former president’s endorsement push.