A super PAC seeking to lure Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis into the 2024 Republican presidential race has raised $30 million since its launch early last month, according to a person familiar with the group’s efforts.
The total is a sign of early fundraising momentum for the group, Never Back Down, which was formed last month by Ken Cuccinelli, a former senior official in the Trump administration.
Since its inception, the super PAC has hired several veteran political operatives, including longtime strategist Jeff Roe, who managed Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) 2016 presidential campaign and served as a top adviser to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s successful 2021 gubernatorial bid.
The group has also recruited talent from former President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. Last week, the group announced that it had hired Matt Wolking, who previously headed up the Trump campaign’s rapid response operation.’
DeSantis hasn’t announced a bid for the White House yet, though he’s widely expected to in the coming months. Never Back Down is likely to serve as the main outside group backing the Florida governor in a 2024 Republican presidential primary.
DeSantis is a fundraising powerhouse in his own right. His state political committee is currently sitting on more than $82 million. That money is currently tied up in state accounts, and could eventually be transferred to another entity, though not to any future federal campaign committee.
DeSantis has become a darling of GOP donors, and has met with many of them in recent weeks ahead of an expected White House run. He hosted a retreat for donors and GOP officials in Palm Beach, Fla. in late February and has ramped up his travel schedule to include stops in key early voting states like Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire.