DeSantis Crushes Gubernatorial Fundraising Record

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ political operation has raised $177.4 million through Sept. 9, breaking the all-time fundraising record for a US governor’s campaign, and trailing a 2010 record for fundraising + self-financing held by former Ebay and Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman by just over $1 million.

According to financial disclosures filed Friday analyzed by OpenSecrets, the Republican governor’s reelection campaign has raised more than $31.4 million since January 2021, while his state-level PAC, Friends of Ron DeSantis, has raised $146 million since January 2019.


And while DeSantis has downplayed rumors of a potential 2024 presidential run as media speculation, he has been touring battleground states, sparring with California Governor (and potential 2024 Hail Mary) Gavin Newsom (D), and has been commenting on Washington politics while on the campaign trail, OpenSecrets notes. What’s more, one federal political committee, Ready for Ron, asked the Federal Election Commission permission to share a list of more than 58,000 DeSantis supporters to “encourage” the Florida governor to explore a 2024 presidential bid.

And if he does run – ostensibly against former President Trump and Texas governor Greg Abbott – DeSantis will start out with one of the most formidable fundraising machines in the GOP.

He’s incredibly popular with the grassroots,” veteran GOP digital strategist Eric Wilson told FT. “It makes lots of sense that he would generate this level of attention,” he continued. “but there’s a lot of credit that needs to go to governor DeSantis and his team insofar as they have built that operation to capture that attention and turn it into grassroots online fundraising.”

DeSantis and Abbott, meanwhile, landed two massive optics victories this week – with the former sending two planeloads of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, and Abbott sending two busloads of migrants to Vice President Kamala Harris’s residence in Washington DC.

Hilariously, after freaking out about 50 migrants – and then virtue signaling with photo-op outreaches to ‘rally behind’ them, residents of Martha’s Vineyard – an island on which 55% of properties are vacation homes – were able to harness the National Guard and evict the migrants to a military base within 24 hours.

DeSantis – who was voted into the US House in 2012, serving three terms before resigning in 2018 to run for governor – has a reported net worth of $319,000. He has not reported any personal contributions to his campaign or PAC. His reelection campaign has been backed by at least 42 billionaires and members of billionaire families, per OpenSecrets.

The billionaires come from 15 states and only 17 of them gave to DeSantis in 2018. 

Billionaire space entrepreneur Robert Bigelow made headlines in July when he donated $10 million to DeSantis’ state-level PAC, Friends of Ron DeSantis — the largest single individual contribution in Florida’s record. Hedge fund billionaires Ken Griffin and Paul Tudor Jones are also big donors to Friends of Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis’ largest donor this year is the Republican Governors Association, a 527 organization dedicated to getting Republican governors elected, which gave $17.4 million to his campaign committee and Friends of Ron DeSantis. -OpenSecrets

Meanwhile, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told an Illinois crowd this week that he’s running in 2024.

Needless to say, a DeSantis, Trump, Pompeo primary will require massive amounts of popcorn.

 

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