A prominent Republican contributor says he is delaying financial support for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) ahead of his highly anticipated presidential candidacy, citing the state’s policies on various social concerns.
“Because of his stance on abortion and book banning myself, and a bunch of friends, are holding our powder dry,” Thomas Peterffy, a billionaire businessman who is a notable GOP donor, told the Financial Times.
The billionaire previously supported DeSantis’ 2018 gubernatorial campaign, and the Financial Times reported earlier this year that Peterffy was looking forward to backing DeSantis’ White House campaign.
Peterffy supported former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election but has subsequently advised that the party move forward from Trump.
DeSantis, who is widely anticipated to run for president in 2024, has concentrated on social issues as his party support has surged in the last year, placing him near the top of the list of potential Republican presidential contenders.
Last week, DeSantis signed a six-week abortion ban in the state. He has also latched onto educational issues, including signing a bill requiring a school district employee to review all books in Florida schools.
DeSantis was re-elected to a second term by nearly 20 points in November, and many see him as Trump’s top contender for the GOP nomination in 2024. DeSantis’s emphasis on social concerns, including publicly sparring with Disney, has helped enhance his prominence.
While DeSantis has not officially announced his presidential campaign, he has recently maintained a busy travel schedule, visiting critical and early nominating states in the Republican primary process.
But Peterffy said if DeSantis continues to cater to the far right of the Republican Party on social issues, “the Republicans have a very big problem.”
Peterffy has contributed millions to congressional Republicans and has a net worth of about $26 billion, according to Forbes.
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