Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis raised $8.2 million in the first 24 hours following his Wednesday announcement of his campaign, beating President Joe Biden's fundraising haul from his campaign launch in 2019.
The Florida governor's campaign said it raised $1 million in just one hour following his announcement on Twitter. In a livestream initially plagued by tech glitches, DeSantis laid out his vision for a "great American comeback." The donation haul cements DeSantis's position as the leading alternative to former president Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary. In comparison, Biden raised $6.3 million in the first day after his announcement in 2019.
The DeSantis campaign is earmarking some of the funds for the general election, assuming he wins the nomination, the New York Times reported:
Bryan Griffin, a DeSantis spokesman, said the campaign was raising both primary and general election funds. The campaign can raise $3,300 per donor for both the primary and general election. He declined to say how money was earmarked for use only in the general election, should Mr. DeSantis become the nominee.
The sum does not include any of the funds that the pro-DeSantis super PAC, Never Back Down, has raised in recent months into a Draft DeSantis account that can be directly transferred to the campaign, according to Mr. Griffin. It is unclear how much money is in that account.
The fundraising totals come after a spat between DeSantis and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which warned black Americans against traveling to Florida over "openly hostile" policies. DeSantis fired back, noting that board members of the organization have vacationed in his state.
"I can tell you since I've been governor, some of the people who've contributed to our record tourism have been board members of the NAACP," DeSantis said in a Fox News appearance Wednesday night after his 2024 presidential announcement. "They put pictures of their Florida vacation on their social media accounts."