A major donor to a pro-Ron DeSantis super PAC has said that he will withdraw support for the Florida governor unless DeSantis attracts new major donors and adopts a more moderate approach.
GOP donor Robert Bigelow told Reuters in an interview published this week that he was concerned that DeSantis would not be able to surpass former President Donald Trump.
The hotel entrepreneur, who gave $20 million to the pro-DeSantis Never Back Down super PAC, said he would not donate more money for now.
“He does need to shift to get to moderates. He’ll lose if he doesn’t … Extremism isn’t going to get you elected,” said Bigelow to Reuters. Bigelow criticized the governor for signing a bill in April that banned abortions in Florida after six weeks.
“Not until I see that he’s able to generate more on his own. I’m already too big a percentage,” Bigelow added. “A lot of his donors are still on the fence.”
Bigelow said he wasn’t waiting for an exact fundraising figure but that “it’s going to be a lot.”
A spokesperson for the DeSantis campaign, Bryan Griffin, said they were “grateful” to supporters and donors who gave them “the capacity to compete for the long haul” without addressing Bigelow directly.
“Despite advice from numerous Republican strategists suggesting that DeSantis should focus on appealing to moderates worried about Trump’s policies and electability, the governor has chosen to take a right-leaning stance compared to Trump,” said Benzinga.
While DeSantis has attracted prominent donors seeking an alternative to Trump, Bigelow’s contribution stands out prominently. Following Bigelow, the second-largest individual donor to the Never Back Down PAC is venture capitalist Douglas Leone, who donated $2 million, a mere tenth of Bigelow’s contribution, according to campaign filings.
DeSantis’ campaign has faced increased scrutiny in recent weeks following the termination of 38 employees, representing over one-third of the staff.
The campaign’s high cash burn rate has raised concerns, and it’s worth noting that a significant portion of the funds raised came from donors who had already contributed the maximum legal amount. These factors indicate potential financial challenges on the horizon.
© 2023 Zenger News.com. Zenger News does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager
“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”
Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.