Just days before Florida’s primary election last month, Gov. Ron DeSantis crisscrossed the country making campaign stops in four swing states.
Seen by many as being one of the rising stars of the Republican party, DeSantis campaigned for senate and gubernatorial candidates in New Mexico, Arizona, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Utilizing his record-breaking campaign war chest of more than $180 million, DeSantis got involved in local races across the Sunshine State.
Of the 30 candidates he endorsed and supported in local school board races, his preferred candidates won at least 25 of the races.
That includes Armor Persons in Lee County.
In Sarasota County, the governor’s candidates won a clean sweep.
Voters in the Republican-leaning county flipped the school board from a 3-2 liberal majority to a 4-1 conservative majority.
“I think we would have won anyway, but (DeSantis) got people out to vote and said how important this is and so it was just a thrill,” said Robyn Marinelli, one of the newly elected conservatives to the board.
DeSantis’s super PAC, Friends of Ron DeSantis, donated thousands of dollars to conservative school board candidates.
FGCU Political Science Professor Dr. Peter Bergerson believes DeSantis is showing his playbook to build a national network.
“My guess is he’s going to use (his campaign war chest) to endorse or support other candidates in other states. In essence, to build a national base and following,” Bergerson said.
DeSantis has repeatedly shrugged off talks of a run for the Presidency.
But there’s no doubt he is attracting the attention of the national republican base and donor class.
With at least 42 billionaires showing their support, DeSantis has raised more money than any previous gubernatorial candidate without self-financing.
“He’s getting big, six-figure (contributions) in this race. Which gives the impression that he has a national standing that he can use to jump start the ’24 campaign for the presidency,” said Bergerson.