Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis contextualized his political committee’s nearly $14 million April haul Tuesday saying his focus was on 2022 and not 2024, then questioning the extended campaign calendar itself.
DeSantis took questions after a bill signing at a Hialeah Catholic school, and one reporter wondered if the torrid fundraising his Friends of Ron DeSantis committee was a function of higher ambitions.
DeSantis has been a perpetual candidate while in elected office, running for U.S. Senate in 2016 as an incumbent Congressman, then running for Governor in 2018. But despite his track record, he said he was focused on the next election.
“Everything I’m doing is for the 2022 cycle,” DeSantis said, before offering a critique of extended campaigns.
“I have not, of course, announced, because quite frankly I don’t think these campaigns should take two years. I mean, I know you’ve got to do some stuff, but … we do our job, we’re working hard. We’re getting a lot of things done for the people of Florida. I can tell ya, just with the stuff we did this Session, it’s going to take weeks to get through all of this, when we sign all the bills and the budget and everything,” DeSantis said.
The DeSantis committee posted its biggest fundraising month since the 2018 campaign, coming in just shy of $14 million raised in April, following up on $5.1 million raised the previous month.
The total was the best month for the committee since October of that year, when it raised $17 million.
Cash on hand now is approaching $31.7 million, a war chest that will be augmented by an unprecedented level of earned media at the same time, including a showcase Wednesday evening on a conservative cable network.
DeSantis will appear with Sean Spicer on the Newsmax network for what is billed as a “town hall” event in The Villages, which includes an interview with DeSantis and audience members. Expect a conservative crowd.
DeSantis already has one prominent potential General Election opponent. Former Gov. Charlie Crist entered the race last week, pursuing the Democratic nomination. Other candidates, including Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, continue to explore running.
Fried has suggested that if DeSantis wins, he would almost immediately launch a 2024 presidential campaign.