Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Severs Ties with State Political Committee in Preparation for Expected Presidential Campaign

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has severed his connection to his long-standing state political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, in preparation for an expected presidential campaign.[0] DeSantis cannot use money raised for Friends of Ron DeSantis in a federal race because Florida law does not limit how much someone can give to the political committee or the source of the donations.[0] To comply with stricter federal fundraising rules, he has removed his ties to the committee, which currently holds nearly $86 million in funds. This move is a required step before his announcement, which some speculate will come in late June, as he cannot use the money donated to that committee for a federal campaign.[1]

DeSantis has been touted as a top 2024 GOP presidential prospect, but recent polls have shown him trailing former President Donald Trump by a significant margin.[2] Despite mounting criticism from multiple factions within the GOP over his controversial policies and feuds with Disney, DeSantis is still considered a leading contender for the nomination. He has said that he will decide “relatively soon” whether to launch a presidential campaign.[3]

DeSantis has been making moves elsewhere in preparation for his expected campaign, including dining with dozens of wealthy fundraisers at the Florida governor’s mansion.[4] He has also received endorsements from several Republican representatives, including Rep. Bob Good, who said that DeSantis “has shown through action as Florida’s chief executive that confronting hard challengers delivers effective results for every man, woman, and child.”[5]

DeSantis has faced criticism from Republicans on multiple fronts, including his characterization of Russia’s war in Ukraine as a “territorial dispute” and his ongoing dispute with Disney over his “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-12.[6] Despite these criticisms, DeSantis is expected to continue to make moves towards a presidential campaign.

0. “DeSantis takes major step ahead of expected presidential bid” POLITICO, 9 May. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/05/09/desantis-2024-campaign-political-committee-00095947

1. “DeSantis Separates From Main Political Committee, A Step Required Before His Presidential Bid” Forbes, 9 May. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/mollybohannon/2023/05/09/desantis-separates-from-main-political-committee-a-step-required-before-his-presidential-bid

2. “Ron DeSantis Faces Republican Criticism From All Sides” Newsweek, 30 Apr. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/ron-desantis-faces-republican-criticism-all-sides-1797567

3. “Ron DeSantis appears to take major step toward announcing 2024 presidential run” Fox News, 9 May. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ron-desantis-appears-take-major-step-announcing-2024-presidential-run

4. “Inside Ron DeSantis’s prep for his 2024 presidential announcement” The Washington Post, 6 May. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/05/06/ron-desantis-2024-presidential-announcement-fundraising/

5. “The Congressional Black Caucus is looking to reignite another voting rights push, in response to the Supreme Court …” POLITICO, 9 May. 2023, https://www.politico.com/minutes/congress/05-9-2023/cbc-reignites-voting-push/

6. “Leubsdorf: Curious case of DeSantis” The Columbian, 7 May. 2023, https://www.columbian.com/news/2023/may/07/leubsdorf-curious-case-of-desantis/

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