Trump targets Florida Republican who didn’t endorse him fast enough

Trump targets Florida Republican who didn’t endorse him fast enough

Donald Trump used Sunday night to encourage “great MAGA Republicans” to “PLEASE STEP FORWARD!” to challenge freshman Rep. Laurel Lee in Florida’s Aug. 20 primary, and one familiar name was quick to volunteer.

Former state Rep. Jackie Toledo, who took a distant third place against Lee in the 2022 GOP primary for Florida’s 15th District, made her feelings known in a reply to a tweet from far-right troll Laura Loomer screenshotting Trump’s Truth Social message.

“Great MAGA Republican answering the call and ready to serve… #MAGA.” (Yes, would-be Republican candidates break news these days in the replies of tweets with screenshots of messages from other platforms.) Toledo also attached a photo from her last campaign of her wearing a cowboy hat bearing the slogan, “TRUMP 2020 NO MORE BULLSHIT!!”

While Trump didn’t specify why he wanted Lee ousted, observers were quick to note that Lee was the lone member of Florida’s congressional delegation to support Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential bid. Lee, whom DeSantis previously appointed secretary of state in 2019, endorsed Trump the day after her old boss suspended his White House campaign, but that evidently wasn’t quick enough for the GOP’s master.

Trump may also have unresolved grievances from the last presidential election. Politico notes that Lee refused calls from election deniers to “audit” the state’s 2020 presidential election even though Trump won Florida’s electoral votes. A super PAC supporting state Sen. Kelli Stargel even ran ads during the 2022 congressional primary attacking Lee for her refusal, but that didn’t stop Lee from winning by a 41-28 margin; Toledo finished far behind with just 12%.

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