While conventional wisdom has long suggested that Donald Trump would be returning to the campaign trail in 2024 as the clearly presumptive Republican nominee for President, the last few years of American politics have been anything but conventional.
This is a whole new world, thanks in no small part to Donald Trump’s swamp-draining first term in office. Now, with the old guard back at the helm, and targeting the former guy with the DOJ and a House committee, there are concerns that another member of the Republican Party could fill this void of doubt and potentially overtake Trump in the race.
Some even believe that it’s already happening.
After personally receiving a $10 million check from real estate mogul Robert Bigelow in Las Vegas in July, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was so astounded by the huge donation that he held onto the check during his long return flight to Florida.
Once he landed, DeSantis told a member of his finance team to drive the check to the Tampa offices of Robert and Nancy Watkins, who serve as chair and treasurer for his political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, according to three people familiar with the story.Trending:
In giving DeSantis $10 million, Bigelow, who owns Budget Suites of America, wrote the largest single campaign check in Florida political history — but it’s just a fraction of the overall record-shattering haul DeSantis has raised during the 2022 cycle.
The numbers are simply staggering.
Between his direct campaign and the aligned political committee, donors big and small have given DeSantis more than $200 million for his reelection bid, a staggering sum that is likely the most raised by any gubernatorial candidate in American history.
DeSantis has used the avalanche of cash to bury Democratic opponent Charlie Crist, a former Republican governor whose $31 million raised would put him in good shape in most competitive governor’s races across the country. But against DeSantis, Crist’s $31 million left him unable to adequately compete.
DeSantis has more than $90 million remaining in the bank after spending about $100 million total this election cycle on his reelection bid via his aligned committee and campaign. That huge sum is fueling speculation that the Florida governor, who cannot run for a third term, will use it to seed the early stages of a potential 2024 bid for the White House.
The gargantuan sum of cash has some experts making some rather bold predictions.
“If you look at where the money is coming from, it’s indicative of Gov. DeSantis being seen by national donors as the de facto frontrunner for president,” said Slater Bayliss, a longtime Florida Republican lobbyist who supports DeSantis.
To add fuel to the fire, there are rumors of a bit of a feud forming between DeSantis and Trump, as the latter is said to resent the former for the possibility that he could run in ’24.