A sign of presidential ambitions?
On April 10 Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis was revealed as the champion when it comes to political fundraising, amongst other gubernatorial candidates across the United States. Fox News went as far as to describe him as a "fundraising behemoth" for having raised over $100 million in 2021.
According to nonprofit Ballotpedia.org the 'Friends of DeSantis' political action group and fundraising organization raised over $109 million in 2022.
This dwarfs the cash raised by other challengers in the 2022 gubernatorial election - Democratic candidates Charlie Crist and Nikki Fried report having raised just $7.1 million and $6 million respectively through February 2022.
Not just about the money
Political success isn't guaranteed through having raised a lot of money from donors, but DeSantis seems to have attracted a lot of financial support compared to other governors too, as 2022 gubernatorial elections approach.
Governor Greg Abbott of Texas had apparently raised nearly $45 million in support of his campaign - a tidy sum but still far less than DeSantis.
A better comparison may be with the money raised by former president Donald Trump, who has so-far raised around $125 million through his 'Save America' political action committee. Could it be then that the DeSantis organization is gearing up for the 2024 presidential election and getting a head start on raising money for that?
While Governor DeSantis has refused to declare himself in or out of the running for the White House in 2024 - to Donald Trump's annoyance - it seems feasible given the sums of money already received from donors as an indication of the financial and political backing he could attract.
Fundraising by any means possible
The largest individual donor to Ron DeSantis is known to be Ken Griffin, the CEO of Citadel Investment Group who donated $5 million to the DeSantis organization in 2021 alone.
In addition to individual and corporate donors, the DeSantis team have also proved themselves to be innovative and motivated, making money however they can.
Following the release of the unofficial DeSantis anthem - 'Sweet Florida' by the Van Zant brothers in early April, the governor is now selling t-shirts, beer coolers and branded guitar picks on his personal fundraising website. Fans and supporters can now donate to the DeSantis organization by buying his merch!
With so much money in the governor's electoral campaign fund it seems likely that Floridians will see a lot of promotional activity in the coming months, as the 2022 election approaches. Time will tell whether he remains focused on his role as governor or shifts his sights towards the White House.
Are you surprised at how much money political candidates receive in support of their campaigns? Do you believe that it's necessary to have wealthy financial backers to succeed in American politics? Let me know in the comments section below.