With roughly a year until the first primaries of the 2022 elections, former President Donald Trump has already begun to channel his considerable sway within the Republican party into a number of endorsements, most recently for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
Abbott, who has threatened to defund the state legislature if they don’t pass a bill to restrict voting, received an endorsement – in part for his fight for “election integrity” – several weeks after his Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
Max Miller, a former Trump campaign and White House aide challenging Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in January.
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), who voted against impeachment but criticized Trump’s conduct during the Jan. 6 attack, and who, in an interview with Forbes, pointed to the “working relationship we had taking care of Kansas” as a possible reason for Trump’s endorsement.
Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.), who also voted for Trump’s acquittal last month but said Trump “bears some responsibility” for Jan. 6, credited Trump’s endorsement to their “close collaboration,” citing his work with Ivanka Trump on foreign policy in an interview with Forbes.
Trump’s endorsements seem to have already made waves in Arkansas, where he endorsed his former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for governor in January and, weeks later, endorsed Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin – who had initially been running for governor before Sanders entered the race with Trump’s backing – for attorney general.
Trump urged Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), who has downplayed the severity of the Jan. 6 attack, to run for reelection in 2022 while offering his “Complete and Total Endorsement,” stating, “He has no idea how popular he is.”
17. That’s how many Republican lawmakers voted in favor of Trump’s impeachment – 10 House members and 7 senators, all of whom are now in Trump’s crosshairs. In addition to the House members, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who Trump had already pledged to campaign against last June, is up for reelection in 2022.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a close Trump ally with the ear of the ex-president, urged him to side with the Republican establishment by endorsing Moran, Boozman and Crapo, according to Politico.
“Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First,” Trump said in a statement last month. “We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership.”
Former University of Georgia and NFL running back Herschel Walker, an outspoken Trump supporter who spoke at the Republican National Convention last year, will likely get Trump’s endorsement if he challenges Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.). Trump said in a statement on Wednesday that it would be “fantastic” if Walker ran, adding, “He would be unstoppable… Run Herschel, run!”
What To Watch For
Another Trump endorsement for a House primary challenger may be forthcoming. Trump met with Catalina Lauf, a former Trump administration aide challenging Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Trump’s most outspoken Republican critic in Congress, at his Mar-a-Lago resort last week, according to Politico.