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Billionaires, bankers and a Ukrainian oligarch: See who’s funding Florida’s campaigns for governor

Donors run the gamut from out-of-state bankers to a former Ukrainian oligarch who’s now a South Beach investor.
Annual Associated Industries of Florida party for FL Legislature, AIF headquarters, Tallahassee.
SCOTT KEELER | TIMES Annual Associated Industries of Florida party for FL Legislature, AIF headquarters, Tallahassee.
Published Jun. 21, 2018
Updated Jul. 3, 2018

From national advocacy groups to hedge fund managers to local real estate tycoons, lots of big donors have placed their bets in the race for Florida governor.

But not all of them are household names — in fact, several large contributors donated from their company accounts so their names did not initially appear on campaign finance documents.

The following is a Top 5 roundup for each of the candidates running for governor, except for Jeff Greene, a Democrat from Palm Beach, who has only recently joined the race and has not yet filed campaign finance documents. However, Greene, a billionaire real estate investor, said he would finance his own campaign and pledged on Wednesday that he would not take any outside donations over $100.

In total, about $80 million has already been raised.

RELATED COVERAGE: Campaign donations in Florida governor’s race hit $80 million.

The below analysis (in alphabetical order) clumps donations from immediate family members, or individuals and their companies, where applicable, and includes donations through the end of May:


House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla. testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 24, 2016, before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on allegations of misconduct against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. [Associated Press (2016)]

(Note: Includes contributions to Ron DeSantis for Governor campaign, Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC, Fund for Florida’s Future)

OCTAVIO JONES | Times Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam who's running for Governor of Florida greets his supporters during his campaign rally at the Old Polk County Courthouse in Bartow, Florida on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

(Note: Includes contributions to Adam Putnam for Governor campaign, Florida Grown PC)


Tallahassee Mayor and candidate for Florida governor Andrew Gillum speaks during the Florida AP Legislative Day at the Florida Capitol Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in Tallahassee, Fla.. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

(Note: Includes contributions to Andrew Gillum for governor campaign and Forward Florida political committee)

Florida gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham, center, speaks during a private fundraiser at a Panama City home on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. Graham spoke and answered questions from supporters during the fundraiser. [CHRIS URSO | Times]

(Note: Includes contributions to the Gwen Graham for Governor campaign, Gwen Graham for Florida PAC)

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine speaks at a Tampa Tiger Bay Club meeting at the Ferguson Law Center in Tampa on May 19, 2017. (LOREN ELLIOTT | Times )

(Note: Includes contributions to Philip Levine for Governor campaign, All About Florida PAC)

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Chris King gives a campaign speech at the Florida Young Democrats Convention in Tampa on May 20, 2010.

(Note: Includes contributions to Thomas Christopher King campaign for governor and Rise and Lead Florida political committee)

Times staff writer Lawrence Mower contributed to this report.

Editor’s note: This story was updated on July 2 to reflect corrected information provided by the Chris King campaign, which corrected the amount donated by Paul W. Morgan and replaced the No. 5 slot with the accurate donor.