Gov. Ron DeSantis' reelection fundraising slows, following Trump impeachment defense


  • Photo by Joey Roulette
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political committee collected $80,500 in September, a fundraising haul that was lower than any other month since January, according to a new finance report filed with the state Division of Elections.

The marked decrease may be due to DeSantis' increasingly vocal support for President Donald J. Trump, who is increasingly isolated by an impending impeachment inquiry and allegations of trying to pressure Ukraine’s leader to help in the 2020 election. In late September, DeSantis, on behalf of the Republican Party of Florida, sent a fundraising email to back Trump, citing the need to "protect" the president from impeachment.

“As governor of Florida, I want the President to know that we have his back in this fight 100 percent, so today I’m issuing the Presidential Protection Fund to fight back against this disgusting attempt to overturn a legitimate U.S. election,” DeSantis wrote in the Sept. 26 email.

The governor has even said he would not be too involved in helping Trump’s 2020 re-election bid because he wants to stay focused on state business. But with the president in peril, the governor asked supporters to help him in “defending President Donald J. Trump from impeachment” by the Democratic-controlled U.S. House.

DeSantis was also on hand for Trump's visit to The Villages on Oct. 3, even though two of the president’s other closest Florida allies, Republican Party of Florida Chairman Joe Gruters and Congressman Matt Gaetz, did not accompany him.

The committee Friends of Ron DeSantis had raised more than $2.6 million this year, as of Sept. 30. Last month’s contributions came from five separate sources: $25,000 from Richard L. Cox, the owner of Cox Pools in Northwest Florida; $25,000 from Jerry Wilson’s Roofing in Lynn Haven; $20,000 from Marshall Field; a Chicago-based executive; $10,000 from PGT Industries Inc., a Sarasota County company that manufactures hurricane-impact windows; and $500 from former state Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda of Tallahassee.

Expenditures by the DeSantis committee in September included $8,750 to HMB Strategies, LLC, for fundraising consulting. The political committee played an important role in DeSantis' victory over Democrat Andrew Gillum in last year's gubernatorial election. Its top fundraising money this year was in June, when it raised $713,0000. It also raised $675,500 in August, $430,416 in May and $340,000 in July, records show.

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