DeSantis meets privately with Kemp in Georgia

Kemp, a focus of Trump’s ire for opposing the reversal of Georgia’s 2020 election results, is one of three Republican governors DeSantis has courted in recent months. He has appeared in Iowa with that state’s Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who has slandered Trump, and has defended New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu from Trump’s criticism. All three governors are popular in their home states, and two of them — Reynolds and Sununu — represent states that were nominated early.

Kemp represents one of the most critical swing states for the country’s general election, and Friday’s meeting follows Trump’s impeachment of the state. Earlier this week, Kemp addressed Trump’s false claims of voter fraud there, writing, “For nearly three years no one with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward – under oath – and prove anything in court.” Our Georgia election is on safe, accessible and fair and will remain so as long as I am governor. The future of our country is at stake in 2024 and that must be our focus.”

DeSantis, the governor of Florida, still ranks second to Trump in the statewide Republican primary, although he has fallen further behind.

When they met Friday, DeSantis and Kemp discussed DeSantis’ recent appearance at the Iowa State Fair and next week’s first primary debate, according to the two people familiar with the conversation. They also talked about campaigning on the go with family members and college football.

It’s the second time DeSantis has met Kemp in the last few months. He also met with the governor at the Georgia Statehouse earlier in the year.

Kimberly Leonard contributed to this report.

FIX: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this report contained an incorrect title for DeSantis.