When he arrives in Atlanta on Saturday for the RedState Gathering, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is likely to be flanked by two Republican statewide office-holders: Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Attorney Sam Olens.
Consider the very early endorsements, from two influential gentlemen looking at the 2018 race for governor, as yet another outgrowth of the March 1 “SEC” primary.
Perhaps, too, these high-profile promises of support have something to do with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’ recent declaration that he considered the collective vote by several Southern states to be “a firewall” for his candidacy.
The statement from Cagle, via the Bush campaign:
"Governor Bush is a proven leader with the right vision and skills to strengthen our country and transform Washington. His commitment to reforming education and encouraging private sector job growth is just what we need from our next President. Now, more than ever, we need somebody that can tackle our challenges head on, bring about real solutions, and restore our faith in those elected to represent us in Washington. There’s no doubt in my mind that Governor Bush will be that kind of President and I’m proud to support him."
And from Olens:
“Our country is in need of a strong leader who can bring us back from the massive federal overreach we have seen for the last six years. Governor Bush’s proven conservative record and can-do style exemplify the qualities we need in the White House in order to get our economy growing and encourage job creation.”
Updated at 7 p.m.: It should be noted that the original dispatch from the Bush campaign included a glowing endorsement from longtime GOP strategist and fundraiser Eric Tanenblatt. But because Tanenblatt has been such a prominent part of Bush efforts in Georgia, we were afraid that his inclusion would imply that he had, at some point, abandoned his candidate, and had recently decided to rejoin. And we couldn't have that.
Check out the rest of our recent RedState stories: