DeSantis campaign says it raised $8.2 million in first 24 hours

Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has raised $8.2 million in his first 24 hours as a presidential candidate, his campaign said Thursday, a huge sum that cements his position as Donald J. Trump’s chief rival. .

Mr. DeSantis’ campaign kicked off Wednesday night with a glitches-filled kickoff on Twitter, but that apparently didn’t dampen donor enthusiasm. The campaign said Wednesday it raised $1 million in just one hour.

The $8.2 million figure is higher than the $6.3 million Joseph R. Biden Jr. raised in his first 24 hours as a candidate in 2019, or the $6.1 million raised by former Representative Beto O’Rourke the same year.

DeSantis’ sum includes both online contributions and pledged donations from bundlers who had gathered Thursday in the grand ballroom of the Four Seasons in Miami for what was called a Ron-O-Rama to do fundraising for the campaign.

A donor making calls in the room first revealed that the campaign had raised $8.2 million, and Bryan Griffin, a spokesperson for Mr. DeSantis, confirmed the figure. All funds are so-called hard dollars that the campaign can use.

The sum does not include any of the funds pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down has collected in recent months into a Draft DeSantis account that can be directly transferred to the campaign, according to Griffin. It is not known how much money is in this account.

Mr Griffin said the campaign was raising money for the primary and general elections. The campaign can raise $3,300 per donor for primary and general elections. He declined to say how the money was allocated to the general election, should Mr DeSantis become the nominee.

It was not immediately clear how many donors contributed in the first 24 hours.

At the Four Seasons in Miami, Lou Barletta, a former congressman from Pennsylvania and former Trump ally, said he spent seven and a half hours calling contacts for donations to Mr. DeSantis’ campaign, not s only stopping to use the bathroom and have a buffet lunch.

“There was so much excitement in that room,” Mr. Barletta said. “I’ve had very, very few people say no to me on these calls.”

On Thursday evening, Mr DeSantis and his wife, Casey, were due to meet with donors in what was billed as a “special celebration”.

A super PAC supporting Mr. DeSantis has a budget of $200 million, but campaign funds are much harder to raise because they are subject to a strict donation cap.

The $8.2 million raised by Mr. DeSantis far exceeds how Mr. Trump started his fundraising in 2024 by the end of 2022. Mr. Trump had raised about $9.5 million in the six weeks after announcing his campaign in mid-November.

Nicolas Nehamas contributed report.


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