(FreedomBeacon.com)- Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, has been gaining a huge following around the country among many Republican voters. Now, it seems he’s winning favor with some of the wealthiest donors in the Republican Party, too.
DeSantis has emerged as a potential leading candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, riding the wave of his various opposition stances to mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. If former President Donald Trump decides not to run for election, the Florida governor could be the runaway frontrunner.
While Trump hasn’t even made his decision public yet — and there are still more than three years until the 2024 election — wealthy donors are already backing DeSantis, who is likely to be the top alternative to Trump.
In just the first seven months of 2021, many prominent Republican contributors are sending DeSantis money to support his 2022 re-election bid for Florida governor. These donors are coming from outside of his home state, too, showing he has serious pull in a potential national race.
As NBC News reported, many of these donors are jumping in to help support DeSantis now in case he does become the Republican nominee for president in 2024. That would win them some favor with the potential presidential candidate, since they supported him early on.
One major advantage DeSantis has over some other potential candidates is he isn’t limited in how much he can accept in donations. Florida law states that as governor, DeSantis can accept an unlimited number of checks from donors.
The largest donation the Florida governor has received this year was $5 million. That was donated in April to his campaign by Ken Griffin, the founder of the hedge fund Citadel, and a megadonor to the GOP.
In addition to that large donation, he also received $500,000 from David MacNeil, the founder of WeatherTech; $250,000 from Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot; and $250,000 from Bruce Rauner, the former governor of Illinois who now lives in Florida.
DeSantis has even received impressive donations from former officials in the Trump administration. That includes Woody Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets and a former ambassador; Wilbur Ross, the former commerce secretary; and former ambassadors Kelly Craft and Jamie McCourt.
It’s not just all about the large donations, either. DeSantis is raking in a lot of smaller donations, too. As one of the fundraisers for DeSantis, Nick Iarossi, said:
“The country is very divided right now on how to approach COVID, on how to approach Afghanistan, on the border crisis and illegal immigration. The country is very, very split. I think a lot of folks feel like they’re being spoon-fed one side through the media and through the Washington, D.C., political class.
“And the only guy that’s really standing up to give that opposing view and give the other side a voice is Ron DeSantis.”
Early donation money isn’t an indication that DeSantis will actually win the nomination, but it’s at least a good starting point.