Gov. Ron DeSantis walks off stage after speaking during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit held at the Tampa Convention Center on July 22, 2022, in Tampa. Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis has received large amounts of campaign dollars in areas such as Miami, with $12.3 million; Fort Lauderdale, with $7.4 million, and about $6 million in Palm Beach.
The numerous contributions are part of new analysis entitled “Influence Watch,” to provide the public with access to DeSantis’ campaign contributions and to hold him “accountable,” as the general election draws near.
The analysis is based on contributions from Friends of Ron DeSantis political committee.
DeSantis, seeking reelection in 2022, has also received large donations from states outside of Florida.
The groups Progress Florida and Florida Watch feature the interactive map on its website.
DeSantis is scheduled to face off with Democratic nominee Charlie Crist in a highly anticipated gubernatorial debate Monday evening. Crist has been lagging in fundraising compared to DeSantis’ massive war chest, as previously reported by the Florida Phoenix.
As for other big donations in Florida, DeSantis collected large amounts — $8.5 million — from donors in Jacksonville and about $8 million in the Tampa Bay region.
DeSantis has also received a whopping $23,350,000 – the largest donor amount – from the Republican Governors Association, a political organization pushing for Republican governorship across the nation.
Among other top donors to DeSantis, is billionaire Ken Griffin, who is the CEO and founder of investment firm Citadel. He has contributed $16,250,000 to DeSantis. And the Seminole Tribe of Florida has given DeSantis’ campaign $3,550,000.
Anders Croy is the communications director of DeSantis Watch, an anti-DeSantis political group.
Croy said in a written statement Friday that the website was launched “in order for the public to be able to gain a greater understanding of the billionaires, corporations, and powerful special interests who are fueling the political ambitions of Ron DeSantis.”
As to his political ambitions, DeSantis has been considered a top candidate for the GOP nomination for president in 2024.
Croy added: “As Floridians continue to suffer under an affordability crisis with skyrocketing rents, a collapsing property insurance market, and utility bills that continue to rise, it is more important than ever to be able to scrutinize who is giving money to the Governor and what they may be hoping to get in return. We believe Influence Watch provides an unprecedented and insightful resource to help people visualize and research how big money donations are impacting the policies pushed by Ron DeSantis.”
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