Ron DeSantis Moving PAC Money to Help State Republicans Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 12 September 2022 10:28 AM EDT
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is using his large campaign coffer to help fellow state Republicans.
DeSantis moved $2.5 million from his political committee to the Florida Republican Senatorial Committee, Politico reported Monday.
The amount is the single largest contribution to the committee – which is controlled by incoming Senate President Kathleen Passidomo – since its creation in 2014.
DeSantis' contribution surpassed the $2 million given by Senate President Wilton Simpson from his political committee back in July. Simpson is running for agriculture commissioner.
Republicans, seeking to build a supermajority from their current 23-16 majority, are targeting Democrat incumbents such as Sens. Janet Cruz and Loranne Ausley, Politico reported.
Florida Senate Democrats, who spent money to help defend Minority Leader Lauren Book against a primary challenge, had less than $600,000 in their main campaign account, Politico said.
"I expect ours [account] to grow nicely over the next few weeks, and not from donors who live among aliens," said State Sen. Jason Pizzo, a Democrat, taking a dig at entrepreneur Robert Bigelow, who donated $10 million to DeSantis' PAC and who said aliens are "right under people's noses."
Politico reported that DeSantis apparently wants to help Senate Republicans across the board to grow support for his legislative agenda, assuming he wins another term.
DeSantis' PAC reported during a one-week period that it shifted $6.5 million to the Republican Party of Florida, Politico reported.
Open Secrets reported that DeSantis' political operation, as of Aug. 19, raised $172 million, more than 11 times the $15.3 million Democrat gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist's political operation reported raising.
Politico said DeSantis has more than $122.5 million unspent — which doesn't reflect any future planned expenditures — while Crist has more than $4.1 million.
DeSantis raised more than $2.83 million from Aug. 27 to Sept. 2, while Crist raised nearly $1.39 million, Politico reported.
Billionaire investor and Trump megadonor Peter Thiel, speaking at the National Conservatism Conference on Sunday, praised DeSantis "probably the best of the governors in terms of offering a real alternative to California," Business Insider reported.