Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted (R) endorsed former President Trump for the GOP nomination on Monday ahead of the first-in-the-nation vote of the Iowa caucuses.
Husted said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that President Biden’s “reckless” policies have weakened the country, especially the economy and security, and “out-of-control” spending has led to the inflation of today. He said this has given Ohioans more difficulty in paying their bills.
“We need strong leadership to get America back on track. That’s why I’m endorsing Donald Trump for President. He will secure our borders from the drugs, crime and human trafficking that is plaguing our communities. And he’ll rebuild our national economy,” Husted said. “Trump has won Ohio twice and he’ll win Ohio again in 2024.”
Husted’s endorsement comes despite the lieutenant governor having close ties to Trump’s competitor for the nomination, Vivek Ramaswamy.
NBC reported in October that Ramaswamy initially met Husted in 2019 through Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio), whom Ramaswamy went to law school with and who would eventually be elected to the Senate in 2022.
Husted previously developed relationships with technology-minded entrepreneurs. Ramaswamy founded Roivant Sciences, a pharmaceutical company, in 2014.
“I told somebody last summer — this was long before Vivek said he was going to run — I said, ‘You watch. This guy’s gonna run for president. And he’s gonna do well.’ And they laughed at me,” Husted told NBC. “And then they texted me about a month ago, and they go, ‘Oh, my God, you’re right!’”
NBC reported that Husted and his wife have occasionally had meals with Ramaswamy and his wife, and Husted has encouraged Ramaswamy’s candidacy. But he had not endorsed it, and he officially backed Trump on Monday.
The first votes of the 2024 race will happen on Monday in Iowa. The polling average for the Hawkeye State has Trump leading the other candidates with just more than 50 percent. Ramaswamy meanwhile is in fourth with just about 7 percent.
Ramaswamy, who does not have elected political experience, emerged from being little known to placing among the upper tier of candidates in Republican primary polls, reaching as high as third place in national polling at one time.
But he has struggled to gain momentum in recent months and has mostly stayed in fourth behind Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.