Gov. Ron DeSantis regularly beats his two 2022 gubernatorial challengers in monthly fundraising hauls, but the incumbent Republican is increasingly relying on out-of-state donors to do so.
At the start of July, DeSantis political action committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, had $44 million cash on hand. At July’s halfway point, DeSantis had added almost $540,000 to that total.
Nearly half of DeSantis’ 2021 fundraising has been pulled from donors in other states, and the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC this year lists more out-of-state donors than in-state donors.
Fundraising contributions for the first half of July posted to the Friends of Ron DeSantis site total $36.7 million, 47% of which comes from out-of-state. That money is spread across nearly 7,000 out-of-state donors.
Compare that to 4,700 Florida donors who have collectively given the Republican Governor $19.7 million over the same time period.
DeSantis’ Democratic challengers, Congressman Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, aren’t getting nearly the out-of-state attention.
Since Crist launched his campaign in May, 11% of donations to his PAC, Friends of Charlie Crist, have come from out of state.
Fried launched her campaign in June, and roughly 4% of the donations to her PAC, Florida Consumers First, have come from out of state.
Both Democratic candidates are also trailing DeSantis in overall fundraising, although DeSantis is not an official 2022 gubernatorial candidate.
DeSantis’ growing national donor base comes amid a torrent of television interviews. Gracing cable news shows at least once a week, DeSantis is billed as America’s Governor among some conservatives, and his fundraising increasingly proves his popularity on the national stage, further fueling rumors that he’ll run for President in 2024.
The fundraising scales first tipped in April when out-of-state donors usurped Florida donors, assisting DeSantis in his highest fundraising month to date in 2021. Friends of Ron DeSantis pulled in $9.3 million from out-of-state donors and just shy of $4.68 million from Florida donors in April.
May saw a return to Florida donor dominance with $5.3 million in donations from Florida donors and $2.3 million in donations from out-of-state donors.
But June reflected the growing national trend again, with $3.4 million coming from out-of-state donors and $2.1 million from Florida donors.
DeSantis’ July fundraising has been dominated by out-of-state dollars. From July 1 to July 15, the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC received $298,654 from 250 out-of-state donors.
DeSantis had more donors from Florida in July, but those donations were smaller and added up to less money. DeSantis’ PAC received $218,685 from 566 Florida donors from July 1 to July 15.
So, where is DeSantis’ out-of-state money coming from?
All 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands are represented in DeSantis’ 2021 fundraising to date
Illinois has sent the most money to DeSantis, nearly $5.27 million, $5 million of which came from investment manager Kenneth C. Griffin.
Washington, D.C., comes in second with $4.76 million, heavily weighted by a $4.6 million donation from the Republican Governors Association.
California comes in third with donations totaling $1.13 million. That total is spread across 500 donors, making California the state with the most individual donors, besides Florida. Most of the donations from California run a few thousand dollars. The largest California donor, donating $50,000, is Lonsdale Enterprises, listed as a business management consulting company and registered to a P.O. Box in Palo Alto.
Looking at the most recent out-of-state monthly data from July 1 through July 15, New York state donated the most money to DeSantis so far this month, coming in at $124,100, followed by California donating $60,166, and Wisconsin at $50,200.
The money from Wisconsin includes two $25,000 donations, one from Capital Asset Investments, LLC and another donated by Joe Pregont, the CEO of a plastic fabrication company.
New York’s Norman Eig, who listed himself as an engineer, gave $50,000, which makes Eig the biggest New York donor so far in July. From California, the Lincoln Club Of Orange County State PAC donated $25,000 this month. Another $25,000 in July came from Robert Greifeld, who works in finance and listed a New Jersey address. A retired business owner from Nevada, Dennis A. Troesh, also donated $25,000 this month.
The bulk of DeSantis’ July 1 through July 15 fundraising in Florida comes from seven big-ticket donors, including $54,350 from hedge funder Michael Gelband in Palm Beach County, $50,000 from Kaveri Investments, $25,000 from the Florida Farm PAC, a pair of $12,500 donations from Winter Park homebuilders Charles W. Clayton and Charles W. Clayton III, $10,000 from Winter Park attorney Richard Troutman and another $10,000 from Palm Beach retiree Candace Hamm.
The rest of the July fundraising from Florida, around $54,000, comes from small donations spread across the other 559 donations.
Fundraising numbers from the Friends of Ron DeSantis site were pulled on July 21 and included campaign fundraising data through July 15.