NPR logo Trump Grabs His First Congressional Endorsement

Politics

Trump Grabs His First Congressional Endorsement

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to photographers during a rally against the Iran nuclear deal at the Capitol last year. Marco Rubio still leads the GOP pack in congressional endorsements, with more than 50. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to photographers during a rally against the Iran nuclear deal at the Capitol last year. Marco Rubio still leads the GOP pack in congressional endorsements, with more than 50.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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 hide caption

toggle caption
Ron Edmonds/AP

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.