According to the Financial Times, a group is preparing to spend $3.3 million over the next six months to support Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ bid in the 2024 presidential race. The political action committee Ready for Ron, according to the report, will file with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday that they intend to spend $2.3 million in television ads and $1 million in other advertisements and expenses. Remarkably, DeSantis has emerged a lead candidate in the next presidential race as many Republicans see him easily being able to defeat Joe Biden. Ready for Ron website reads, “The America-First agenda MUST be revived. Governor Ron DeSantis is the next Great American President – like Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump – who will turn our country around.”
Dan Backer, a lawyer and counsel to Ready for Ron, told the Financial Times that this wave of spending will serve as “the backbone of a real ground game” for DeSantis and “convince DeSantis that he has the grassroots support to run and win in a general election”. He also noted that Ready for Ron wants to “bring in a whole host of people who aren’t part of the current universe.” There are many Republicans who are not part of Trump’s base which has dominated Republican campaigning in the last few years. The group plan to spend $100,000 per week until the end of June in TV ads, as well as about “$1mn in independent spending on phone, mail and digital promotion of a DeSantis candidacy.”
Backer said the group was “confident in the size of our buy as of now” and is “very optimistic about the continued trajectory of our fundraising.” Backer doesn’t expect DeSantis to officially launch his campaign after the end of the Florida legislative session in early September. Outside spending should, “offset any competitive advantage that any other campaigns may or may not have” leading up to DeSantis’ announcement said Backer.
According to the Financial Times:
While DeSantis has been gaining traction, doubts still linger about his national appeal, in terms of winning over the base in the primaries and independent voters in the general election.
Ready for Ron’s television campaign will be done through RRTV media, which has been working with Republicans, including pro-Trump groups, since 2018.
Although DeSantis raised more than $217mn in his Florida governor re-election campaign, the most for any gubernatorial candidate, he is not allowed to use those funds directly for a presidential run.
As of November 28 2022, the group had $19,804 of cash on hand and had borrowed around $271,000 from Pac Management Services LLC group, according its latest FEC filings. It would have to raise additional money to fully meet its spending pledges.
The group raised $297,000 between its creation in May of last year and the end of November, including $100,000 from Alabama businessman Shaun McCutcheon as well as smaller donations from former Red Lobster chief executive Kim Lopdrup and David Flory, a backer of DeSantis’s run for governor.