Trump Endorses GOP Rival of Idaho Incumbent Governor

( Former President Donald Trump is throwing his support behind another challenger to an incumbent Republican politician.

On Tuesday, the former president officially endorsed Janice McGeachin for governor of Idaho. McGeachin is the current lieutenant governor and is running against current Republican Governor Brad Little in next year’s election.

Trump made that endorsement through his political action committee after he met last week with both McGeachin and Little at Mar-a-Lago last week.

Idaho is a strong Republican state traditionally. In the 2020 presidential race, Trump won almost 64% of the vote there. It’s one reason why his voice is a strong one in the state today.

In making his announcement, Trump said that McGeachin has been on his side since the beginning, and would continue to fight for gun rights, strong borders, school choice, farmers and American manufacturing.

He said:

“She will make a fantastic Governor, and will never let you down!”

Following the endorsement, McGeachin changed her profile picture on Twitter to be a photo of her standing next to Trump, with each of them giving the thumbs-up. She then tweeted:

“It is a great honor to receive the endorsement of the greatest President of our lifetime.”

The Republican field for Iowa’s governor is rather large. According to the secretary of state’s office, there are 14 total candidates in the race so far — eight of whom are registered Republicans and two of whom are registered Democrats.

The primary for the Republican Party will be held in the middle of May next year.

Idaho is one state where the governor and lieutenant governor don’t run on the same ticket. While McGeachin has already announced she will be running for governor, Little hasn’t made his plans for re-election public yet. He is expected to seek re-election, though, and has already been fundraising.

In a statement he released to The Associated Press on Wednesday following Trump’s endorsement, Little said:

“As Governor, I have worked effectively with Idahoans to make Idaho the least regulated state in the country and maintain the strongest economy. We’re pushing back on Biden’s vaccine mandates and unprecedented government overreach while banning vaccine passports here in Idaho.”

Little has taken a lot of credit for the fact that Idaho is operating with a budget surplus of $1 billion, and has an unemployment rate that’s on part with levels that were seen before the pandemic began. He has said that much of that is due to the fact that he cut regulations, making Idaho one of the least-regulated states in the entire U.S.

It’s not as if Trump doesn’t support Little, either. Just last week, Trump recognized Little at a gala for a nonprofit that Trump is aligned with, the America First Policy Institute.

In a recorded video of the speech, Trump said:

“We also have Governor Brad Little, who is a terrific gentleman.”

Ultimately, though, those positive comments from Trump about little could pale in comparison to the effect the former president’s official endorsement could have on the election hopes of McGeachin.