A major Republican donor backed off his support for Ron DeSantis over the Florida governor’s stance on abortion and book bans.
Hungarian-born billionaire Thomas Petrffy had earlier said he was “looking forward” to funding the 44-year-old lawmaker’s potential bid to the White House.
But he said Financial Times On Saturday he and “a group of his friends said they were holding our powder dry” because of “the conservative stance on abortion and book bans.”
Earlier this week, DeSantis signed off on a new six-week abortion ban in Florida, alarming many centrist conservatives who see such strict rules as a vote loser. He now heads to the state supreme court to be sealed.
‘I stopped myself,’ said Peterffy.
I’m more reluctant to support him. We wait to see who among the primary candidates is most likely to be able to win the General, and then put all our firepower behind them.
Top Republican donor Thomas Peterffy has suspended his support of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the 2024 presidential candidacy over his stance on abortion in LGBTQ issues.
The Florida governor has also struggled to find a way to appeal to Trump’s far-right voter base while presenting himself as a candidate with broader appeal.
Picture DeSantis making his first trip to early-voted Iowa in March. It would be difficult for him to use the dollars raised in Florida for a national Republican campaign
DeSantis has not officially announced his candidacy, but he is considered the main challenger to Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.
He enjoyed a string of stunning successes as governor of the Sunshine State – but this didn’t translate to the national stage.
DeSantis has raised $110 million – but only $30 million of that could be used for a presidential campaign.
His famous aversion to small talk has also prompted accusations that his national campaign lacks the flair for which Donald Trump is famous.
Trump was seen as yesterday’s man until recently, but he’s seen a huge rebound in opinion polls after the New York City attorney general indicted him over hush money payments to a porn star.
The Florida governor has also struggled to find a way to appeal to Trump’s right-wing voter base while presenting himself as a candidate with broader appeal.
DeSantis wants to ban books on LGBTQ topics from Florida schools and support a ban on abortions after six weeks in the state.
The Sunshine State had previously banned abortions after 15 weeks, which many junior conservatives said was a reasonable compromise between having no time limits, and a complete abortion ban.
Peterffy, who founded digital trading platform Interactive Brokers, said he disagrees with the governor’s position on these issues.
But he has been more supportive of DeSantis in his fight with Disney. The company has opposed the governor’s “Don’t Say Like Me” law, which restricts talk about gender and sexuality in schools.
“I think it’s crazy for a company to take a stand on gender issues,” said Peterffy.
The 78-year-old businessman, one of the richest men in Florida with an estimated net worth of $26 billion, has long been a major Republican donor. In 2022, he gave $7.7 million to individual Republican campaigns and conservative political action committees, according to campaign finance data from OpenSecrets.
Former President Donald Trump has enjoyed a surge in opinion polls in the wake of his indictment on financial quiet charges and subsequent impeachment.
Trump, who was recently seen as a candidate as well, had his campaign turbocharged by the indictment of Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg, once again raking in huge sums of money.
Trump seems to enjoy trolling his poll numbers against DeSantis and President Joe Biden
DeSantis, 44, has a net worth of $110 million. But $80 million of that is tied to the Sunshine State, and cannot be funneled into a presidential campaign.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has seen a huge rebound in opinion polls in the wake of his indictment on hush money charges and subsequent impeachment.
Trump, who was recently seen as a candidate as well, had his campaign turbocharged by the indictment of Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg, and he is once again raking in huge amounts of cash.
DeSantis has so far kept several donors at arm’s length as they tour the country.
His poll numbers seem to have slipped against Trump in recent weeks with 58 percent supporting Trump to just 21 percent supporting DeSantis.