Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, GOP Pile Up Political Cash – CBS Miami

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami / NSF) – With a profit of $ 5.14 million in March, Governor Ron DeSantis’ political committee raised more than $ 9 million in the first three months of 2021 as he stood for re-election prepared.

DeSantis won’t be on the ballot until next year, but newly filed financial reports provide a glimpse of the financial benefits he and other Florida Republicans will have in trying to take over the governor and almost every other lever of political power in the world To retain state.

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The reports, which were filed before the Monday deadline, also detail the large sums of money corporations, groups and wealthy individuals continue to pour into the state political system in an attempt to influence policymakers and prepare for the 2022 elections .

DeSantis has not opened an official campaign account to be reopened next year, but his political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, raised $ 5.14 million and spent only $ 43,209 in March.

Since the beginning of this year, the DeSantis committee had raised nearly $ 9.07 million as of March 31, while spending less than $ 70,000.

In contrast, Florida Consumers First, a political committee affiliated with state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, raised around $ 285,000 in the first three months of the year, including nearly $ 149,000 in March. Fried, the only nationwide elected Democrat, is slated to run against DeSantis in 2022.

While contributions to campaign accounts for nationwide candidates are capped at $ 3,000, contributions to political committees are not capped. As a result, contributions to the DeSantis committee and many other committees can sometimes reach six figures.

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For example, political committees affiliated with Associated Industries of Florida gave friends of Ron DeSantis $ 595,000 through a series of contributions in March, the report said. AIF has long been one of the most influential corporate lobby groups.

Other examples of March DeSantis committee contributions include $ 250,000 from St. Augustine-based health company Island Doctors. $ 250,000 from former Home Depot CEO Bernard Marcus; $ 100,000 from automotive company JM Family Enterprises; $ 100,000 from Lake City-based Junction City Mining Co .; $ 100,000 from First Coast Energy, LLP of Jacksonville; and $ 100,000 from Ring Power Corp.

With Republicans having almost complete control of the state government for two decades, the GOP usually has a huge financial advantage over Democrats. This continued earlier this year when the Florida Republican Party raised $ 3.65 million in the first three months of 2021, while the Florida Democratic Party reportedly raised $ 1.39 million.

Similarly, the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, which plays a key role in the election of GOP candidates to the Senate, raised approximately $ 1.48 million in the first quarter. Its Democratic counterpart, the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, raised $ 261,500.

Among the individual contributions in March, the largest single contribution was a US $ 3 million contribution from the Florida Realtors industrial group to a political committee called Floridians for Housing. The next largest single entry was a check from Airbnb, Inc. for $ 766,092 to a political committee named The People Versus the Powerful, according to a state electoral database.

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(© 2021 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. Do not publish, broadcast, rewrite, or redistribute this material. Florida News Service Jim Saunders contributed to this report.)

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