Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis raised $20 million in the first six weeks of his presidential run, his campaign said Thursday, a sizable sum that solidifies his place as former President Donald J. Trump’s main rival.
While the number is less than the $35 million the Trump campaign said the former president raised in the three months ending June 30, DeSantis had only half the time to raise campaign money after being officially entered the race in mid-May.
In addition to the $20 million the DeSantis campaign said it had raised, a super PAC supporting Mr. DeSantis, Never Back Down, said Thursday it had raised $130 million since March. But nearly two-thirds of that sum was transferred to the group by a state committee that backed DeSantis’ re-election bid last year.
The campaign-provided totals — more detailed numbers aren’t due to be submitted to the Federal Election Commission until July 15 — provide an early glimpse of the fundraising battle between the top candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, a race that could set spending records.
The $20 million raised by Mr. DeSantis includes $8.2 million his campaign said it raised on its first full day of fundraising in late May, suggesting the pace of his fundraising has slowed significantly from then on.
Barring DeSantis’ state committee move, the latest numbers also show that Never Back Down raised more money in its first three weeks than it has in roughly the past three months.
The slowdown in fundraising comes after a bumpy campaign launch that sparked questions from donors and supporters about its direction.
But Never Back Down’s chief operating officer Kristin Davison said the money raised « showcases an unprecedented, unprecedented and hugely successful fundraising operation that no other candidate in this race has. »
Mr. Trump has raised most of his campaign money through his leadership PAC, Save America. In recent months, The New York Times reported, Trump has diverted more of the donations he receives to the PAC, which he has used to pay his personal legal fees.
The Trump campaign said Wednesday it raised a total of $35 million between April and June, nearly double what the committee had raised in the first quarter of the year, reflecting sharp increases in fundraising in the wake of its two campaigns. allegations, in New York and Florida.
Shane Goldmacher contributed report.