Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is kicking off a reelection fundraising tour this week that will take him far from the beaches and country clubs of Florida, raising speculation that the first-term Republican’s political aspirations are much larger than gubernatorial.
The Florida governor is scheduled to make around a half-dozen appearances in California and Nevada, including high-dollar events in Las Vegas and San Diego, Politico reported.
- “The appearance is part of an aggressive summertime out-of-state fundraising swing, with DeSantis capitalizing on his rising profile to stuff his reelection coffers and cultivate a national donor network that could power a prospective 2024 presidential bid,” according to Politico.
- “DeSantis’ cross-country fundraising swing draws parallels to former President George W. Bush, who courted donors outside his home state (Texas) in the run-up to his 1998 reelection race. Bush received financial support for his gubernatorial campaign and, crucially, developed the national finance network that became a foundation of his presidential bid two years later,” Politico reported.
- For the San Diego event on Thursday, “attendees are being asked to pony up as much as $100,000,” according to Politico.
Trump says he’d consider running with DeSantis
On Monday, in a phone appearance with Stuart Varney of Fox Business, Trump said that if he ran for the White House again in 2024, he would consider running with DeSantis — the Florida governor replacing former vice president Mike Pence on the bottom of the ticket.
- “I would certainly consider Ron,” the 74-year-old former president told Varney. “I was the first one to endorse him when he came out as a congressman that a lot of people didn’t know, and my endorsement helped him tremendously.”
- “We have other great people,” Trump said of the GOP’s bench of vice presidential candidates.
A recent poll of Republicans in New Hampshire — known as an early battleground state for presidential campaigns because it hosts an early presidential primary and voting opens just after midnight on Election Day — found that DeSantis was favored to lead the GOP ticket if former President Donald Trump wasn’t on the ballot, reported Florida Politics.
- Former Vice President Pence spoke at an event in New Hampshire last week, signaling that his own presidential aspirations may not be over, Deseret News reported.
- The polling firm Victory Insights also found that without Trump on the ticket, the Republicans voting in the Iowa Caucus — another early primary — prefer DeSantis, according to Florida Politics.