PEORIA, Ill. – Republican Congressman Darrin LaHood, who now represents Illinois’ 16th District, officially announced on Saturday that he has endorsed Donald Trump in the Republican primary for President.

PEORIA, Ill. – Republican Congressman Darrin LaHood, who now represents Illinois’ 16th District, officially announced on Saturday that he has endorsed Donald Trump in the Republican primary for President.

“Under President Joe Biden, the economy is worse, as 40-year high inflation and the cost of everyday goods harm working families, our adversaries – Iran, China, and Russia – have been emboldened by weak leadership, the southern border is an unmitigated disaster, and Democrat soft-on-crime policies are incentivizing violent criminals in big cities like Chicago. By every measure, our country was better off with President Trump’s leadership in the White House, and it’s time for the Republican Party to unite behind him as we enter 2024.

“Throughout the Republican Primary, I have kept an open mind and listened to the other candidates. While I have a great deal of respect for those who have put their names forward in the Republican Primary, President Trump is the clear frontrunner and I believe he can beat Joe Biden in 2024.

“In President Trump’s first term, Illinois families paid less at the pump and grocery store, small businesses flourished, the world was a safer place, and our enemies feared us. President Biden has eroded all of the gains our country made during the previous administration, and I believe President Trump is the only candidate who can hit the ground running on day one and restore a prosperous America. That’s why I am proud to endorse President Trump in the 2024 Republican Primary.”

Rep. Darin LaHood is backing Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy in 2024.

The Dunlap Republican representing Illinois’ 16th Congressional District said he believes Trump is the man to beat heading into the Iowa caucuses — the official kickoff of the 2024 GOP presidential primary elections.

“Throughout the Republican Primary, I have kept an open mind and listened to the other candidates. While I have a great deal of respect for those who have put their names forward in the Republican Primary, President Trump is the clear frontrunner and I believe he can beat Joe Biden in 2024,” said LaHood in a statement released Saturday.

As NPR reported Saturday, Trump is running leaps ahead of his GOP rivals in Iowa polls leading up to next Tuesday’s caucus. He also leads in polls ahead of the Jan. 23 New Hampshire primary.

LaHood was a honorary co-chair of Trump’s 2020 Illinois campaign, but he’s also been key in attracting Republican presidential hopefuls like former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to the Peoria and Tazewell GOP’s annual Lincoln Day Dinners in Peoria in the years following Trump’s 2020 loss.

LaHood said the country was better off with President Trump in the White House “by every measure.” He said President Biden has emboldened American adversaries like Russia, China, and Iran; and also blamed the incumbent president for inflation, weak border security and “Democrat soft-on-crime policies.”

“In President Trump’s first term, Illinois families paid less at the pump and grocery store, small businesses flourished, the world was a safer place, and our enemies feared us,” LaHood said. “President Biden has eroded all of the gains our country made during the previous administration, and I believe President Trump is the only candidate who can hit the ground running on day one and restore a prosperous America.”

Trump is the only U.S. president impeached twice. He currently faces 91 state and federal felony indictments in four separate cases. Those are tied to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago resort, election interference allegations in Georgia, and charges he falsified business records in New York. It’s unclear if any of those cases will go to trial ahead of the November general election.

Trump has maintained his innocence in those cases, and frequently says the charges are politically-motivated “witch hunts.”

LaHood, a former federal prosecutor, didn’t comment on those indictments in his three-paragraph endorsement. He was among the Republicans who voted to certify the results of the 2020 election.

Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood on Saturday endorsed Donald Trump in the Republican primary for U.S. president. The Dunlap Republican represents the 16th Congressional District.

LaHood had previously praised one of Trump’s rivals, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, calling him one of the “preeminent conservative voices” who is “fighting back against the radical left.”

“Throughout the Republican Primary, I have kept an open mind and listened to the other candidates,” LaHood said in a news release. “While I have a great deal of respect for those who have put their names forward in the Republican Primary, President Trump is the clear frontrunner and I believe he can beat Joe Biden in 2024.”

In Saturday’s news release, LaHood said, “By every measure, our country was better off with President Trump’s leadership in the White House, and it’s time for the Republican Party to unite behind him.” LaHood cited the economy, inflation, international relations, migration and crime.

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LaHood was among the Republicans who voted against the 2021 impeachment of Trump.

“In President Trump’s first term, Illinois families paid less at the pump and grocery store, small businesses flourished, the world was a safer place, and our enemies feared us,” LaHood said. “President Biden has eroded all of the gains our country made during the previous administration, and I believe President Trump is the only candidate who can hit the ground running on day one and restore a prosperous America.

In the social media thread, Paul scrutinized Haley’s stances on the nation’s overseas actions and policies. He also criticized Haley for previously saying people should be required to verify their identities to use social media platforms — a stance she has already walked back, according to the Washington Post.

Paul has yet to make a formal endorsement for a 2024 presidential candidate, noting that in addition to those GOP candidates, he has also met with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is running as an independent.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a skeptic of foreign policy interventionism, takes issue with Nikki Haley’s “involvement in the military-industrial complex.”

In a video announcement as unique as the libertarian-minded legislator making it, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Friday delivered his anti-endorsement of Nikki Haley for president.

Paul declined to endorse a specific alternative to the former South Carolina governor, saying that he appreciates qualities in former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and even Democrat-turned-independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

“I’m not yet ready to make a decision, but I am ready to make a decision on someone who I cannot support,” he said in the video, which was posted to social media. “So I’m announcing this morning that I’m never Nikki.”

He has created a website, NeverNikki.net, where conservatives and libertarians can learn more about what he dislikes in Haley’s record.

Paul said he objects to her hawkish foreign policy views, her lucrative post-government work for Boeing and other entities, and her suggestion that she would support banning anonymity on social media to crack down on foreign meddling in U.S. culture and politics.

“I don’t think any informed or knowledgeable libertarian or conservative should support Nikki Haley,” he said. “I’ve seen her attitude towards our interventions overseas. I’ve seen her involvement in the military-industrial complex, $8 million being paid to become part of the team. But I’ve also seen her indicate that she thinks you should be registered to use the internet.”

He added: “I think she fails to understand that our republic was founded upon people like Ben Franklin, Sam Adams, [James] Madison, John Jay and others who posted routinely — for fear of the government — they posted routinely anonymously.”

Paul ran for president in the 2016 cycle, dropping out after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses.

Long a hero to small-government ideologues, it’s unclear what kind of sway Paul’s words will have among Republican voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and other early caucus and primary states.

But Paul’s skepticism of U.S. involvement in foreign conflicts has purchase beyond the GOP’s smaller libertarian contingent. Trump’s base of “MAGA” supporters are also wary of dedicating resources overseas that could be better spent shoring up U.S. border security. That’s part of why a sizable number of House Republicans have tried to hold up U.S. military aid to Ukraine as it seeks to repel a Russian invasion.