Pro-Ron DeSantis super PAC said to have raised $30 million


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis addresses voters in Iowa on March 10, 2023 in Des Moines, Iowa. DeSantis, widely expected to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2024, is one of several Republican leaders visiting the state this month.

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A super PAC urging Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to run for president in 2024 has raised $30 million since its launch less than a month ago, an official with the group told CNBC on Monday.

Never Back Down, the federal super PAC led by former Trump administration official Ken Cuccinelli, scooped up the spoils as DeSantis dropped much of the niceties around his widely anticipated plans to launch a presidential primary campaign. republican.

The governor, who easily won re-election in November, is expected to make his announcement after Florida’s legislative session ends in May. If he enters the race, his allies will have a substantial cash pile to tap into as they try to sell DeSantis as the best GOP alternative to Trump in a potentially broad field.

More than half of the money raised through Never Back Down’s online fundraising efforts came from outside Florida, according to the official, who confirmed details that were first reported by The New York Times earlier Monday.

None of those funds were transferred to another fundraising entity’s super PAC, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the group’s internal numbers.

The windfall provides a contrast to former President Donald Trump, whose presidential campaign and joint fundraising committee raised about $9.5 million in the last six weeks of last year, according to BNC News. Trump was the only major official candidate in the race at that time.

DeSantis is seen as one of the likely top contenders against Trump, who announced his own White House bid last year and holds a clear lead in the polls heading into the primary. DeSantis has signaled his presidential ambitions in numerous ways, including releasing a political brief and visiting some key GOP primary states.

Cuccinelli, the former Virginia attorney general who was a Homeland Security official under Trump, spear Never Back Down on March 9 with a call for “new conservative leadership”. The group recently hiring Jeff Roe, a sought-after GOP consultant who worked on Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s victory over Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

In recent weeks, Trump has bombarded his potential rival with criticism. A pro-Trump super PAC also accused DeSantis of running an illegal “shadow presidential campaign” by acting as a candidate without issuing a bid.

Much of the former president’s messaging over the past month has been split between attacking DeSantis and railing against the Manhattan District Attorney, who indicted him last week in a case centered on a payment silent in 2016.

The Trump campaign said it has raised more than $5 million since the former president was indicted, NBC News reported. It’s unclear how much of the Never Back Down haul was collected after the criminal charges against Trump made headlines.

Trump, the first ex-president ever charged, is expected to travel to New York on Monday and be arraigned on Tuesday. He gave no indication that he would put his presidential campaign on hold.

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