Governor Ron DeSantis has emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic as a fearless champion of his constituents’ rights and a national leader in the war against the Biden administration’s destructive progressive policies.
As he faces off against his now-Democrat opponent, Rep. Charlie Crist, it appears voters — including very wealthy voters — are backing him with their wallets. DeSantis has shattered the previous fundraising record without adjusting for inflation, pulling in a whopping $177.4 million for his reelection campaign as of Sept. 9.
According to Open Secrets, DeSantis’ campaign “has raised over $31.4 million since January 2021, and Friends of Ron DeSantis, his state-level PAC that is not subject to contribution limits, raked in $146 million since January 2019.”
By contrast, Crist has raised $20 million. To put that into perspective, DeSantis raised $10.5 million — a personal monthly record — in April alone.
Top among DeSantis’s supporters is the Republican Governors Association, which added $17.4 million to his campaign committee and Friends of Ron DeSantis, the governor’s state-level PAC. And billionaire Robert Bigelow gave to the PAC the largest single individual donation in Florida’s history: $10 million. Also among DeSantis’s billionaire supporters are hedge fund execs Ken Griffin and Paul Tudor Jones.
In total, 42 billionaires from 15 different states have contributed to keeping DeSantis in office.
It’s a point Crist has jumped on.
“Where’s Ron DeSantis?” he asked on Twitter. “He’s campaigning with fellow anti-abortion extremists in Wisconsin and Kansas.”
“He’s abandoned Florida and our people to run for president — and this November, we’ll abandon him at the polls,” Crist stated.
So popular is DeSantis’s unapologetic leadership style among America First voters, Democrats from other states are turning from their own upcoming elections to challenge him.
As American Wire reported, California Governor Gavin Newsom — as his own constituents are busy navigating their way through drug-infused homeless encampments in their fight to keep the lights on — issued a bizarre call for DeSantis to debate him.
“I’ll bring my hair gel,” the cocky Californian tweeted. “You bring your hairspray.”
Hey @GovRonDeSantis, clearly you're struggling, distracted, and busy playing politics with people’s lives. Since you have only one overriding need — attention –let's take this up & debate. I’ll bring my hair gel. You bring your hairspray. Name the time before Election Day. @CNN https://t.co/vTJHQxfArW
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 16, 2022
His obsession with DeSantis has been mercilessly mocked since he shot a Fourth of July ad encouraging Floridians to flee to California, where gas prices are crippling commuters and COVID masks are considered a fashion statement.
And after DeSantis flew 50 illegal migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Newsom ran to the DOJ asking for an investigation.
I’m formally requesting the DOJ begin an immediate investigation into these inhumane efforts to use kids as political pawns. pic.twitter.com/x2sBa06nSw
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 15, 2022
Why Newsom won’t focus on the many significant problems in his own state is anyone’s guess, but his attacks on DeSantis have only fueled more national support for Florida’s governor.
If Newsom is afraid he’ll have to battle DeSantis for the White House in 2024, his concern has merit.
According to Open Secret, of those 42 generous billionaires, only 17 of them gave to DeSantis in 2018, a clear indication of the governor’s skyrocketing popularity.
Should he choose to throw his hat into the presidential ring in 2024, he has, since Jan. 2021, already raised more money than both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.
While Newsom may still be waiting for DeSantis to pay him some much-wanted attention, Florida’s governor will go toe-to-toe with Crist in a debate on October 12.
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