DeSantis campaign raises $29.2 million this year from outside Florida

Main takeaways from his national fundraising from Jan. 1 through July 8 reveal not everything stays in Vegas and big money is pouring in from blue states.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis [ MATIAS J. OCNER /MIAMI HERALD | Miami Herald ]
Published July 20, 2022|Updated July 20, 2022

TALLAHASSEE — As Gov. Ron DeSantis runs for reelection in November, he has drawn attention across the country as a potential 2024 candidate for president.

With that has come cash. Lots of cash.

In big chunks and pocket change, from Tallahassee to Honolulu.

Since the beginning of this year, DeSantis’ political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, has raised at least $56.2 million. Money has flowed into the committee from every state and Washington, D.C, with at least $29.2 million coming from outside Florida, according to a state campaign-finance database.

Here are some takeaways from DeSantis’ national fundraising from Jan. 1 through July 8. This only looks at contributions to the Friends of Ron DeSantis committee and does not include separate dollars landing in DeSantis’ campaign account.

• The largest amount of out-of-state cash, nearly $10.83 million, came from Nevada. A big part of that stems from a $10 million contribution that aerospace executive Robert T. Bigelow made to DeSantis’ committee on July 7. But even without Bigelow’s money, Nevada would have been one of the committee’s top sources of funds. Nevada donors made seven contributions of $50,000 or more.

• DeSantis frequently tries to score points with the Republican base by criticizing Democratic-controlled states such as New York, California and Illinois. His committee is vacuuming up money from those blue states. New York donors trailed only Nevada and Washington, D.C., since the beginning of the year, pouring $1.565 million into the DeSantis committee. California was next at $921,219, followed by Illinois at $826,853.

• DeSantis has tried to remain coy about whether he plans to run for the White House in 2024. But if he runs, he will need to do well in a handful of states that played a key role in Democrat Joe Biden winning in 2020. DeSantis’ committee has been mining some of those states for cash. As of July 8, it had pulled in $596,055 this year from Georgia; $580,658 from Arizona; $309,059 from Michigan; and $241,862 from Pennsylvania.

• DeSantis’ committee pulled in about $9.6 million from Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland. Granted, that is somewhat inflated because the Washington-based Republican Governors Association pitched in $8.75 million. But donors in Virginia contributed $638,240. Also, donors in Biden’s home state of Delaware ponied up $140,264.

• Every little bit helps in political campaigns. And that includes $5 contributions or other small amounts from far-flung states. The DeSantis committee received contributions totaling $40 from Maine donors, $55 from Vermont donors, $62 from Alaska donors and $82 from West Virginia donors.

— By Jim Saunders