An influential Massachusetts Republican businessman is bucking former President Donald Trump and throwing his weight behind Ron DeSantis — a much-needed increase for the Florida governor’s sputtering marketing campaign.
The Herald has realized that Rick Green, the web auto elements magnate and founding father of Mass Fiscal Alliance, is endorsing DeSantis, making him the primary distinguished conservative determine to interrupt with the Trump wing of the occasion and again the Florida governor.
“The country’s ready for the next generation and I think Gov. DeSantis is it,” Green, of Lowell, mentioned in an interview with the Herald. “I think Gov. DeSantis’s accomplishments in Florida provide a vision for the next generation.”
Green, who may present necessary monetary backing for DeSantis in Massachusetts, mentioned he has no downside with Trump however believes the Florida governor is best positioned to take the nomination and defeat Joe Biden in 2024.
DeSantis has struggled to win endorsements even in his residence state of Florida and trails within the polls to Trump in key states like New Hampshire.
“I’m not against President Trump. President Trump deserves a lot of credit. I just believe Gov. DeSantis is the future of America,” Green mentioned.
Green, chief govt of the extremely profitable 1A Auto Parts, has stayed energetic within the Massachusetts Republican Party for the final decade, ran unsuccessfully for Congress and will run once more. But proper now he plans to place his muscle behind DeSantis.
“Clearly I have a network. I’ll definitely be reaching out to my network urging them to support the governor,” he mentioned, including he’ll assist with fundraising and connecting different distinguished Republicans to DeSantis.
The Florida governor has not formally kicked off his marketing campaign however he has in impact been campaigning for months unofficially, lately touring to New Hampshire, which might be a key battleground within the GOP race.
“We’re very, very early in this horse race,” Green mentioned, including he’s not involved with polls proper now. “If he gets in formally and people really start to scrutinize his record I think he’ll do very well.”
DeSantis is finest identified for difficult “woke” college insurance policies in Florida and flying a whole bunch of migrants out of Texas and Florida to locations like Martha’s Vineyard.
“I like the fact that he’s very solid. There’s not a lot of fanfare. He just gets stuff done,” mentioned Green.
The Lowell businessman, who employs greater than 500 folks, additionally mentioned he strongly helps DeSantis’s COVID insurance policies in Florida, the place he opened colleges and companies whereas many different states have been shutting them down.
“He wasn’t afraid to take on hot-button issues, that’s the first thing that drew me to him,” Green mentioned.
By siding with DeSantis, Green is now at odds with distinguished Massachusetts conservatives and Trump supporters like former GOP chairman Jim Lyons. That’s a dynamic to observe within the coming months.
“President Trump has done the country a great service. He’s exposed a lot of our institutions like the government and the media,” Green mentioned, however added that DeSantis is now the person to rebuild the nation.
“The guy you call to knock it down is different than the guy you call to rebuild it,” he mentioned.