Official fundraising numbers aren’t due until later today, but multiple media outlets have already crowned Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as the nation’s first gubernatorial candidate to raise $100 million entirely from political contributions. The figure is based on data reported on the Friends of Ron DeSantis website combined with previously reported fundraising totals. An analysis by CNN projected DeSantis’s haul for March to be about $6.1 million, which they added to his previous total of $96 million through February.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has raised $93 million so far, according to CNN.
Others in the past, like California’s Meg Whitman, have topped the $100 million figure but did so through the use of personal loans, but DeSantis, who is not independently wealthy, appears to be the first to collect contribution checks that put him over the top. And former Florida governor Jeb Bush famously topped the $100 million mark in 2015, but he did so as part of a national campaign for president that ultimately got steamrolled by Donald Trump.
Not only will that eye-popping figure give him a substantial advantage in his re-election campaign, but political observers also say it sends a message to potential 2024 rivals as well that he’s going to be well-armed and formidable candidate with national backing.
DeSantis’s largest donor in 2021 was the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA), pumping about $6.6 million into the coffers of Friends of Ron DeSantis, his affiliated political committee. Since, then, the RGA has pumped in about $3.5 million more. DeSantis’s largest individual donor in 2021 was Citadel Securities founder and hedge fund manager Ken Giffin, who forked over $5 million in a single donation.
Here’s a list of DeSantis’s Top Ten Donors for 2021:
Top Donors to Gov. DeSantis (1/1/2021 – 12/31/2021)
|Rank||Total Amount||Donor Name||Donor Type|
|1.||$6,600,000||Republican Governors Association||Entity|
|2.||$5,000,000||Kenneth C. Griffin||Individual|
|3.||$800,000||David F MacNeil||Individual|
|4.||$518,899||Republican Party of Florida||Entity|
|5.||$505,000||Florida Prosperity Fund||Entity|
|6.||$505,000||Gale L. Lemerand||Individual|
|7.||$500,000||Spring Bay Capital||Entity|
|8.||$500,000||Walter W. Buckley Jr.||Individual|
|9.||$400,000||Voice of Florida Business||Entity|