A recent Federal Election Commission ruling could benefit Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis should he decide to run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, an election lawyer told CNN.
The FEC was deadlocked last month when three commissioners said they had found no evidence that Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., broke a law intended to keep money raised for a state campaign out of federal elections.
Attorney Brett Kappel told CNN that the FEC's decision could help DeSantis raise money for a potential presidential campaign while still running for reelection this year.
"Every time the FEC deadlocks on one of these innovative financial structures, it's a big neon sign saying, 'Do this! You can get away with it!'" Kappel told CNN.
Political office-seekers in Florida often choose to fundraise through state-registered political committees. Much like super PACs, state political committees are not limited on how much they can receive from any single entity.
Florida Politics reported last week that DeSantis received more than $3.6 million through his campaign account and his political committee through the first half of June. That increased the governor's campaign coffer in mid-June to $114,340,380 — several times what Democrat contenders have raised to challenge the governor as he seeks a second term.
DeSantis publicly has dismissed questions regarding possible presidential aspirations.
Some surveys have suggested DeSantis was closing in on former President Donald Trump in a hypothetical race for the GOP nomination. Trump had not said whether he planned to run in 2024, though many of his allies have said they believe he will.
One source told CNN that DeSantis' team already has looked into ways to turn reelection campaign funds into money that could be spent in a federal campaign.
"It can be done," the source told CNN.
One person involved in Republican fundraising in Florida told CNN that DeSantis was expected to raise about $200 million this cycle — but only needs less than half that amount for his reelection campaign.
Trump, whose Save America PAC had raised $106 million as of May, was the only other potential GOP candidate with such a war chest.
"I think that's totally the plan," one person told CNN of DeSantis' reelection funds being transferred for use in a national campaign.
"It would be ludicrous of anyone to try to dissuade you that it's not what's happening."
Although the law discourages candidates from using money raised for a state race for a federal campaign, the FEC — which is divided between three Republican commissioners and three Democrats — hasn't shown a desire to pursue complaints against super PACs that violate the spirit of that law.
"A lot of this falls into the grey area, and the rules are only as strong as the people enforcing them," Daniel Weiner, a former lawyer for an FEC commissioner, told CNN.
"For the last decade plus, enforcement has been pretty weak ... as long as he does not blatantly violate the law, DeSantis will be able to do what he wants."
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