Gearing up for 2024? Ron DeSantis’ PC pulls in $1.8M after 2022 spending deadline
Ron DeSantis

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Now if only he had some reason to spend it.

Gov. Ron DeSantis can’t run for a third term as Governor. But his campaign committee has raised around $1.8 million after the cutoff for political contributions that could be spent on his re-election campaign.

Only contributions received by campaigns and political committees as of Nov. 3 could be spent on the 2022 election cycle, in which DeSantis defeated Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in a landslide. But the Governor’s political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, still saw plenty of cash flow to its coffers after that point.

More than $1,759,545 in contributions have been reported as received after Nov. 3. That total includes $207,667 received on Election Day, Nov. 8.

Observers have widely speculated that DeSantis will run for President in 2024. He recently headlined the first “cattle call” of Republican candidates, the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership summit in Las Vegas.

While a Florida political committee can only use its resources to influence state elections, it has become a common practice for state candidates seeking federal office to turn over resources to super PACs that can then independently support their candidacies for higher office. While Florida candidates and committees can cooperate, federal law prohibits such collaboration between candidates and super PACs.

Nancy Watkins, Treasurer for Friends of Ron DeSantis, said the committee could not use any money received after Nov. 3 to influence the 2022 election. But unlike candidate campaign accounts, standing political committees can continue accepting donations to support future political endeavors.

Donors may have sent DeSantis’ political committee donations intending to support the Governor’s re-election, even if the checks were received after the Nov. 3 state deadline. But many late donors likely understood the money would end up helping DeSantis’ potential White House aspirations rather than his re-election effort.

Moreover, many of the donors have business taking place in the state of Florida as DeSantis prepares for his second term.

On Election Day alone, the committee reported a $100,000 check received from Manhattan developer Denise Coyle, CEO of The Benjamin Companies. Notably, that company in the last year significantly stepped up plans for Florida investments. The business in February purchased a $145-million Pompano Beach apartment complex, according to the Commercial Observer. Developers also filed plans for a 30-story tower development in Fort Lauderdale to be called The Benjamin, according to Florida Yimby.

DeSantis’ PC also received a $50,000 check from the Miccosukee Tribe, which has a reservation in the Everglades and operates a casino west of Miami.

Other major donors include Walgreens, which played a critical role in vaccine distribution in Florida and which donated $25,000 to the DeSantis committee. The company also reached a $683-million settlement with the state after Attorney General Ashley Moody, a Republican, brought a case against the national company for its alleged role in the opioid epidemic.

The North American Coal PAC also gave $10,000 to the DeSantis committee. That’s notable considering Florida has only marginal coal reserves and no new plants have been opened since 2007 when Crist, during one term as a Republican Governor, issued an executive calling for 40% reductions in carbon emissions by 2025.

Those were just Election Day donations, but the committee reported a number of other major contributions in the week leading into Nov. 8.

Trish Duggan, the top donor for the Church of Scientology, gave $500,000 to the DeSantis committee that was received on Nov. 4. She spearheaded the opening of the Imagine Museum in Pinellas County in 2018.

Jonathan Lubert, founder of investment management firm JL Squared Group and a Naples resident, donated $125,000 reported on Nov. 4.

The Big Easy Casino, a Hallandale-based gambling establishment, donated $100,000 reported the same day.

On Nov. 7, New Port Richey-based hotel management firm Dhruv Management donated $100,000. So did DG Hospitality founder Danny Gaekwad, a trustee for the University of Central Florida whose term expires in January. Georgia construction firm TCI Holdings also donated $100,000. St. Petersburg construction firm Power Design gave $50,000 the same day.

Kelly Mahoney, co-founder of construction firm The Hillpointe Team, gave $75,000 on Nov. 4. New York hedge fund manager Frank Mosier gave $50,000 on Nov. 7.

The committee has reported little in terms of expenditures since the election, with the bulk of reported disbursements including more than $28,000 in credit card fees to Anedot.

But some interesting expenditures show up on the committee’s website that have yet to appear on the state’s reporting website. Some include late campaign-related events, including more than $26,000 in event production costs paid to Renee Dabbs in Tampa and nearly $17,000 paid to Florida Gulf Coast University for facility use paid on Nov. 7, just a day before the election.

But the biggest expense by far was a $500,000 disbursement to TAG, a Washington area event production company. That check was written Nov. 4.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


13 comments

  • Virginia

    November 28, 2022 at 12:05 pm

    “Trish Duggan, the top donor for the Church of Scientology, gave $500,000 to the DeSantis committee that was received on Nov. 4.”

    This contribution sticks out for sure. What do Scientologists want with this candidate?

  • The Real Tom

    November 28, 2022 at 12:51 pm

    Just like Trump. Send him your money for nothing! He will loose nationally. People don’t go for these nut jobs outside of Florida. They’ve cooked their goose with all the right wing propaganda and lies.

    • Tom

      November 29, 2022 at 6:56 am

      F P legend Tom here. How’s the 60% feeling now you idiot Joey corsin. I own you, you ignorant moron. Getting your ass kicked. Victory is wonderful.

    • Tom

      November 29, 2022 at 6:56 am

      F P legend Tom here. How’s the 60% feeling now you idiot Joey corsin. I own you, you ignorant moron. Getting your ass kicked. Victory is wonderful.

  • Yrral

    November 28, 2022 at 1:28 pm

    John Kerry could be the President,if he want it,since the swift boat trash has was ashore, Desantis could carry his water

    • Tom

      November 29, 2022 at 6:53 am

      Scary lug bolts Kerrey is to busy windsurfing. You are the village idiot Ural mountain, how’s that 60% win?

    • Tom

      November 29, 2022 at 6:53 am

      Scary lug bolts Kerrey is to busy windsurfing. You are the village idiot Ural mountain, how’s that 60% win?

  • rustic

    November 29, 2022 at 8:00 am

    The article was helpful in identifying some of the dummies that gave money to Rona, the little baby grifter. But why the heck does Florida law allow for political donations to a candidate after the election not to be returned to the donor? That’s just plain wrong, it’s more in the nature of a bribe since the outcome is known. What is not helpful is that nut job “Tom” and his moronic comments to the article. Maybe you can write an article that interviews this nut job and helps us understand how his mind got so warped.

    • Tom

      November 29, 2022 at 9:05 am

      Hardly warped or nuts.
      But you are rusty.
      I’ve been on this page for 4 yrs.
      I am legend rustic one. Predicted 60% landslide blow out, the win for the ages. I trounce neophytes like you.

      How’s the ass kicking feeling? Use pillows to sit on moron.

      DeSantis dominates the center right politically. 60%, he has independents, moms, Hispanics, soft Dems and other groups supporting him.

      His can do spirit, Viga and whiz kid approach is catching fire. It’s called leadership, unlike incompetents Biden and Harris. His new generation appeal will overwhelm geriatric geezer at age 82, Nov of 24. Enjoy!

    • Tom

      November 29, 2022 at 9:05 am

      Hardly warped or nuts.
      But you are rusty.
      I’ve been on this page for 4 yrs.
      I am legend rustic one. Predicted 60% landslide blow out, the win for the ages. I trounce neophytes like you.

      How’s the ass kicking feeling? Use pillows to sit on moron.

      DeSantis dominates the center right politically. 60%, he has independents, moms, Hispanics, soft Dems and other groups supporting him.

      His can do spirit, Viga and whiz kid approach is catching fire. It’s called leadership, unlike incompetents Biden and Harris. His new generation appeal will overwhelm geriatric geezer at age 82, Nov of 24. Enjoy!

    • Boaz

      December 4, 2022 at 1:59 am

      There are sour grapes, and then there are uniquely whiny sour grapes of Florida Politics comments. The latter makes a great celebratory beverage with more than a hint of desperation and a note of futility for the next election.

  • MariaJack

    December 4, 2022 at 3:09 am

    I’m making a decent compensation from home $60k/week , which is astonishing under a year prior I was jobless in a horrendous economy. I say thanks to God ikh consistently I was honored with these guidelines and presently it’s my obligation to show preemptive kindness and offer it with Everyone,
    , GOOD LUCK.:)
    Here is I begun.… … ……>> 𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐫𝟎𝟏.𝐩𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐬.𝐝𝐞𝐯/

  • MariaJack

    December 4, 2022 at 3:10 am

    I’m making a decent compensation from home $60k/week , which is astonishing under a year prior I was jobless in a horrendous economy. I say thanks to God ikh jkm consistently I was honored with these guidelines and presently it’s my obligation to show preemptive kindness and offer it with Everyone,
    , GOOD LUCK.:)
    Here is I begun.… … ……>> 𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐫𝟎𝟏.𝐩𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐬.𝐝𝐞𝐯/

Comments are closed.


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