Many Major Donors Abandon DeSantis

Major Donors Say GOODBYE to DeSantis - What Happened?


While Florida Governor and GOP presidential contender Ron DeSantis maintains his position as the second runner-up in the nominee race, a notable shift has occurred in terms of his prominent past benefactors distancing themselves. Out of the 50 contributors who generously contributed over $160,000 to DeSantis’s 2022 reelection campaign, only 16 have extended their support to his “Never Back Down” super PAC. This figure represents less than one-third of his primary backers who have financially backed his bid for the presidential nomination. Notably, a minimum of five major donors have redirected their contributions toward DeSantis’s competitors.

The rationales provided by past contributors for refraining from increasing their financial support to DeSantis encompass a broad spectrum. For instance, Walter Buckley, a former venture capitalist and DeSantis’s tenth most substantial contributor, has articulated his discontent with DeSantis’s stance on specific social matters. 

Notably, he expressed reservations regarding DeSantis’s endorsement of a six-week abortion ban, deeming it an unwise move to adopt such a rigid position. Following his last contributions to the DeSantis campaign in 2022, Buckley has, in the interim, allocated a significant sum of half a million dollars to the opposing candidate, Chris Christie.

A number of DeSantis’s previous financial backers hold the view that his stances regarding foreign policy are misguided. Chris Reyes, a businessman and the fifth most substantial contributor to the DeSantis campaign, ceased his support for the Florida governor due to his remarks concerning the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which DeSantis referred to as a territorial dispute.

Prominent contributors with extensive corporate affiliations have commenced a process of disassociation from the candidate following his widely publicized clash with the Walt Disney Corporation. Their concern revolves around the perception that DeSantis may hold an anti-corporate stance.

Nevertheless, DeSantis remains resolute in his pursuit. A representative from his campaign has underscored the fact that DeSantis has garnered a larger financial backing compared to both Trump and Biden’s political campaigns. Additionally, some have highlighted that DeSantis’s unwavering commitment to maintaining his positions irrespective of financial contributions is viewed positively by many.

Nonetheless, DeSantis currently occupies the second position in the hierarchy of Republican presidential contenders. However, it’s important to note that this second place is significantly distant from Trump, who maintains a commanding lead of 37 points in the majority of polls, even in the aftermath of the former president’s recent legal charges.