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Governor DeSantis withdraws large sum of money from Trump’s circle of big donors

Only time will tell if Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis throws his proverbial hat into the ring for the 2024 presidential race.

But that hasn’t stopped some of the wealthiest Republican donors from launching DeSantis’ unofficial campaign for the nation’s highest office – some of whom remain active financial boosters for former President Donald Trump.

According to a Politico report, a DeSantis-aligned political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, received $3.4 million this election cycle from 10 donors who also earmarked $24 million for Trump’s 2020 re-election bid.

In total, citing the same Politico article, DeSantis’ fundraising arm for Florida’s November gubernatorial election raised more than $100 million — a record pace for a single election cycle in the US. State.

Many tracking polls have DeSantis as an overwhelming favorite over Democratic Party challengers Charlie Crist or Nikki Fried. (Primary day is Aug. 23.) And if successful, that gubernatorial victory could lead to a Trump-like war chest for the 2024 election cycle.

“I think Ron’s fundraising really speaks for itself,” Francis Rooney, a former construction company owner, longtime Republican donor and former Florida congressman who was open, told Politico. to Trump’s impeachment in 2019.

“It’s possible Trump’s percentage of Republicans will continue to drop, and I think it’s possible people will start looking elsewhere.”

According to Politico, the majority of DeSantis’ major donors had never previously contributed to state-level elections in Florida.

Citing financial data, Politico reports that DeSantis’ list of mega-donors includes:

  • Retired venture capitalist William Buckley and his wife, Elizabeth, donated $1.2 million this year.
  • Las Vegas casino mogul and Trump supporter Phil Ruffin gave DeSantis $100,000 this cycle, about double DeSantis’ donation from four years ago.
  • Texas oil baron Kelcy Warren, who spent $10 million to support Trump in 2020, recently donated $50,000 to DeSantis’ re-election cause.
  • Larry Garatoni, an Indiana businessman who gave $500,000 to support Trump, also donated $35,000 to Governor DeSantis.
  • Geoffrey Palmer, a developer from Los Angeles, gave DeSantis $20,000 this round. Palmer reportedly spent $6 million on Trump in 2020.
  • And Pennsylvania billionaire Jeff Yass gave DeSantis $100,000 this round.

Politico speculates that more big donors could emerge in November, if DeSantis wins the race for governor.

“I know a lot of donors who are kind of in a wait-and-see mode,” said Shiree Verdone, Trump’s Arizona campaign co-chair for his two presidential campaigns. “They really, really like DeSantis, who’s very popular, but you don’t want to upset Trump.”

By all accounts, former President Trump and DeSantis have a good working relationship.

Four years ago, Trump’s endorsement of DeSantis — then little known, nationally, a congressman — helped propel DeSantis to a narrow victory over Democratic challenger Andrew Gillum.

“Like other candidates who have been propelled to victory through President Trump’s endorsement, Governor DeSantis is part of a large group of elected officials across the country who continue to benefit from President Trump’s MAGA movement.” , said Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich.

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Post expires at 3:50pm on Thursday June 30th, 2022