Donors’ qualms emerge about Ron DeSantis

desantis-book-ban-hoax-press-conference-tampa (Large)
Abortion, book bans and culture war issues are giving the big money pause.

As Gov. Ron DeSantis continues his tour of Asia, Israel and the United Kingdom, cracks may be emerging in his domestic donor fortress.

The latest indications of attrition come from a New York Times article, in which one of the Governor’s biggest backers is said to be “evaluating” the 2024 Primary landscape.

According to the Times, Citadel CEO Ken Griffin has been alienated by DeSantis’ framing of the Ukraine war as a “territorial dispute,” in a statement provided to the now-canceled Tucker Carlson show on Fox News. Additionally, the state’s new six-week abortion ban, which DeSantis messaged about tentatively during political speeches, reportedly rankled the financier.

While some in Griffin’s orbit still think it’s likely DeSantis continues to get his donations, others speculate Griffin may donate to other alternatives to Donald Trump in the still-nascent 2024 Republican field.

“Ken may not agree with all of the Governor’s policies, but he appreciates all that the Governor has done to make Florida one of the most attractive states to live and work in America,” a spokesman told the Times.

That stops far short of a ringing endorsement, and an on-record statement went no farther.

The Griffin report comes days after news that another significant donor, Thomas Peterffy, has begun to reevaluate DeSantis in the wake of the abortion ban and what The Guardian calls “book banning.” DeSantis, of course, says such reports are a “political narrative” and a “hoax.”

“I have put myself on hold. Because of his stance on abortion and book banning … myself, and a bunch of friends, are holding our powder dry,” the CEO of Interactive Brokers said this month.

“I am more reluctant to back him,” Peterffy added. “We are waiting to see who among the Primary candidates is most likely to be able to win the General, and then put all of our firepower behind them.”

DeSantis is down significantly in virtually all polls of the race conducted since the former President’s indictment and arrest in New York weeks ago.

Despite the recent setbacks, he has resources.

The supportive Never Back Down super PAC claims to have raised at least $30 million already. And the Friends of Ron DeSantis political committee raised more than $13.6 million in February and March, with more than $85 million cash on hand as of the end of last month.

In addition to leveraging the statewide political committee for a potential presidential run, DeSantis also intends to host donors at the taxpayer-funded Governor’s Mansion in coming weeks, according to the Times. So there’s still a path. But with prominent donors going on record with qualms, the path seems to narrow with each passing news cycle.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


6 comments

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 25, 2023 at 8:57 am

    Ron has no chance unless he learns to smile. Why so frumpy all the time, Ron? You’re Governor of Fleur D’uh, on a taxpayer funded world vacation, you don’t have to do anything but point fingers at “the others” and say “they’re the devil.” What more could you want? Smile, Ron. Duh. Smile.

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 25, 2023 at 9:19 am

    Ron Duh keeps talking about drag queens exposing themselves while reading books but let’s be honest, Ron is the one exposing himself as an impostor and most definitely without the syndrome. Whatever the opposite of impostor syndrome is, that’s our Ron.

  • Donald J Trump

    April 25, 2023 at 9:26 am

    Vote for me…Big Money New York City. Let Big New York run Florida’s own Ron DeSantis home to The Villages for good. Also thank you to all the trailer park sub-apes who voted billionaire. You should be rich by now. Just another reason to vote for me!

  • PeterH

    April 25, 2023 at 10:32 am

    Where is Ron DeSantis when leaders of Florida’s Volusia County are facing death threats for supporting their local Jewish population? Oh …. I remember now ….. DeSantis is on a world tour trying to establish a credible international reputation!

    DeSantis is an international embarrassment!

  • Ocean Joe

    April 25, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    All ready to run for president…and then his personality had to show up.

    Between him, and Ingoglia and Fine and all this constant blather about Disney, and children, and trannies, and drag shows, you have to wonder how deep their fixation goes.

  • Rhonda Nightmare

    April 26, 2023 at 8:26 am

    Toppling condos, flooded and closed airports and schools, home to antisemitism, misogyny and racism, Parkland, Orlando and Jacksonville worse than any Hollywood apocalyptic thriller.

    We don’t need this north of US10.

Comments are closed.


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