Nearly half the money raised this year to support Gov. Ron DeSantis' reelection campaign has come from outside the Sunshine State, Florida Politics reported.
The Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC has accumulated $36.7 million in 2021, with $17 million (46%) coming from 6,929 out-of-state donors. Floridians contributed $19.7 million from 4,700 contributions.
"Floridians aren't the only ones depending on DeSantis, and win or lose in 2022, his fundraising power shows he's not going away anytime soon," Axios said.
Florida Politics reported DeSantis had more Florida donors than those from out of state July 1-15, but they contributed less money.
Overall, the DeSantis PAC has $44.5 million to spend.
The financial news increased speculation of DeSantis, who’s up for reelection next year, making a run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Also, it was "a bad look for his Democratic competitors who aren't pulling in nearly as much money from in-state, let alone the rest of the country," Axios said.
Two Democrats running to unseat DeSantis — former Gov. Charlie Crist, currently serving in the U.S. House, and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried — are trailing DeSantis in overall fundraising.
The two Democrats also are not getting nearly the out-of-state attention.
Since Crist launched his campaign in May, the Friends of Charlie Crist PAC has received 11% of its donations from out of state.
Fried, who launched her campaign in June, has seen 4% of her Florida Consumers PAC contributions come from outside of Florida.
The two largest donations to the DeSantis PAC came from Illinois investment manager Kenneth C. Griffin ($5 million) and the Republican Governors Association in D.C. ($4.6 million).
Outside of DeSantis' home state, California had the most individual donors (500) with $1.13 million. The largest Golden State donor, donating $50,000, is Lonsdale Enterprises, listed as a business management consulting company and registered to a P.O. Box in Palo Alto, Florida Politics reported.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are represented in DeSantis' 2021 fundraising to date.
Out-of-state donors to the DeSantis PAC usurped Florida donors in April, his highest fundraising month to date in 2021. Friends of Ron DeSantis received $9.3 million from out-of-state donors in April, and just shy of $4.68 million from Florida donors.
New York donated the most out-of-state money to the DeSantis PAC July 1-15 with $124,100. California ($60,166) and Wisconsin ($50,200) were next.
DeSantis became a popular figure among Republicans and conservatives with his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. He shunned mask mandates, and was among the first governors to re-open for business.
The governor since has taken on national issues — i.e., voting rights, critical race theory in schools, banning transgendered students from participating in girls sports, and supporting the protests against the socialist government in Cuba — within his state.
Critical race theory is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as the concept in which race is a socially constructed category ingrained in American law intended to maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites. It holds that the U.S. society is inherently or systemically racist.
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