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Crist pleads for national contributions as DeSantis breaks records

Former Gov. Charlie Crist urged democrats to focus on the Florida race
Ron DeSantis and Charlie Crist
Posted at 4:40 PM, Sep 02, 2022

Aside from the beach trips and barbeques, Labor Day weekend is historically considered the start of election season.

But Gov. Ron DeSantis has been busy in the pre-season.

The Republican Governor has already broken fundraising records with a campaign war chest of $172 million.

That’s 11 times more than former Governor Charlie Crist has managed to raise so far.

Friday, the Crist campaign announced $3 million in contributions in the first nine days of the general election.

“(DeSantis) has access to campaign money that Charlie Crist doesn’t have,” said FGCU Political Science Professor Dr. Peter Bergerson.

This past weekend, Crist appeared on CNN, urging national democratic donors not to forget about the Sunshine State.

“It is the Democrats last chance to stop (DeSantis). It’ll be a lot cheaper to do it in Florida than it would be to do it in 50 states. So, let’s do it now. Let’s stop this thing,” said Crist.

Will the plea work?

Bergerson has his doubts.

“I don’t think there’s going to be the amount of money, nationally, coming in for Charlie Crist that we’ve seen coming in for Gov. DeSantis,” said Bergerson.

Florida races always attract a lot of outside money.

For instance, DeSantis’s first campaign against former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum saw more than $100 million poured into the race.

But this year is different.

Fox 4 Investigates dug through all of the campaign finance documents with the state.

Between his campaign and his aligned super PAC, DeSantis has at least 42 billionaires supporting his re-election bid.

One of his biggest donors is Chicago billionaire Ken Griffin, who has given DeSantis five million dollars.

Griffin has also publicly stated he won’t support former President Donald Trump in the future.

Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus gave the governor half a million dollars this election cycle, double what he gave four years ago.

Fox 4 Investigates found at least five more billionaires who were first time contributors to the DeSantis campaign.

Meanwhile, Crist’s largest donation to date is $500,000 from the American Federation of Teachers.

In a previous interview, Crist said he wasn’t concerned about the massive fundraising gap.

“I’m not worried about it. I know that people around the country are concerned about this race,” said Crist.

The DeSantis campaign didn’t respond when asked about fundraising.

Bergerson says the amount of money raised by DeSantis so far tells him the governor might have higher ambitions on the mind.

“He clearly wants to run for President,” Bergerson said.

“His objective is to run up the turn out for him and the percentage of victory as high as he possibly can.”