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Trump Grabs His First Congressional Endorsement

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., became the first member of Congress to publicly endorse Donald Trump for president.

In a statement, Collins said the business tycoon has the "guts and the fortitude" for the Oval Office.

Like Trump, Collins is a successful businessman — he is one of the wealthiest members of Congress — and shares Trump's view that the government needs to be run more like a business.

In a statement, Rep. Chris Collins of New York said Trump has the "guts and the fortitude" to be president.
Ron Edmonds / AP
In a statement, Rep. Chris Collins of New York said Trump has the "guts and the fortitude" to be president.

Collins had been a public supporter of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, but Bush exited the race after his disappointing finish in the South Carolina primary over the weekend.

Trump remains at the bottom of the pack when it comes to congressional endorsements. The leader is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Historically, congressional endorsements have been one of the best indicators of the eventual nominee.

But the 2016 presidential race continues to test old conventions of how campaigns are won.

For instance, Bush had been the leader among congressional endorsements until he dropped out of the race.

According to a report in Politico, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., will also back Trump.

"We don't need a policy wonk as president. We need a leader as president," Hunter told Politico, "I'm in, and I've been in."

A spokesman for Hunter did not immediately return a request for comment on his endorsement.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Susan Davis is a congressional correspondent for NPR and a co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast. She has covered Congress, elections, and national politics since 2002 for publications including USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, National Journal and Roll Call. She appears regularly on television and radio outlets to discuss congressional and national politics, and she is a contributor on PBS's Washington Week with Robert Costa. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Philadelphia native.