Ron DeSantis hopes to raise up to $10M to boost Trump

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hopes to raise at least $10 million as part of a multistate fundraising swing for former President Donald Trump, a man he fought in a bitter primary race but with whom he has now found a cautious truce.

“I think we believe Biden needs to be beat, and the governor is willing to put the sword down,” a top DeSantis adviser said. “They have had several good conversations as recently as last week.”

The fundraising events will begin as soon as July and likely run through September, the DeSantis adviser said, with multiple events expected in Texas, California and Washington.

The plan is to tap into states where DeSantis already had substantial donor networks from his own presidential bid to be able to quickly raise cash for Trump.

“It’s in places where there is existing infrastructure for stuff like this,” the DeSantis adviser said.

The money raised will be used to fund media buys in key swing states targeted by Trump’s political orbit.

The fundraising events will technically be for Right for America, a pro-Trump super PAC started in January and led by Ike Perlmutter, the former chairman of Marvel Entertainment at Disney, who is a longtime GOP rainmaker who has been a political supporter of both Trump and DeSantis. The arrangement was first reported by The Associated Press.

The wire service reported that Trump called into a South Florida donor event hosted by DeSantis this month to praise his former political rival.

“Ron, I love that you’re back,” Trump said.

The committee so far has raised $13 million, of which $10.1 million has come from Perlmutter and his wife, Laura, according to campaign finance reports.

“Ike has been helpful over the years, so a lot of it just made sense,” the DeSantis adviser said.

Anthony Lomangino, chairman of Southern Waste Systems and a longtime Trump donor, has also given $1 million to the super PAC.

A Perlmutter spokesperson did not immediately return a request seeking comment but last year told CNBC that he was prepared to make “meaningful” financial contributions to Trump’s 2024 White House bid.

The fundraisers are the latest example of the thawing of the relationship between Trump and DeSantis, who were longtime political allies after Trump endorsed DeSantis’ 2018 run for governor, but eventually became bitter political enemies as the 2024 Republican presidential primary played out.

In April, DeSantis told supporters at a private event with donors that he was willing to raise money for Trump’s presidential campaign. Later that month, he had breakfast with Trump at a South Florida golf club, and the two have had a handful of conversations since.

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