Presented By
Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club on Nov. 3, 2015.
Bill Clark—CQ-Roll Call/Getty

New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins and California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter on Wednesday became the first sitting members of Congress to endorse Republican frontrunner Donald Trump for president.

“Donald Trump has clearly demonstrated that he has both the guts and the fortitude to return our nation’s jobs stolen by China, take on our enemies like ISIS, Iran, North Korea and Russia, and most importantly, reestablish the opportunity for our children and grandchildren to attain the American Dream,” Collins said in a statement reported by The Buffalo News.

Collins originally supported former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who dropped out of the presidential race on Saturday.

“If we want to get our nation’s economy growing again and deal with the daunting fiscal issues threatening America’s future, it’s time to say no to professional politicians and yes to someone who has created jobs and grown a business,” Collins said, referring to Trump’s business background.

“We don’t need a policy wonk as president. We need a leader as president,” Hunter said Wednesday in an interview with Politico.

“I think you have more Trump supporters in Congress. They just have to come out of the closet, so to speak,” he said.

Their support, which comes a day after Trump’s easy victory in the Nevada caucuses, represents some of the first mainstream Republican endorsements for Trump.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio handily leads his opponents in political endorsements, racking up 54, according to Roll Call.

More Must-Reads From TIME

Write to Katie Reilly at

You May Also Like