Largest DeSantis Donor May Dump Florida Governor Amid Struggles

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign for the Republican nomination for president continues to struggle to gain traction. Now it is in danger of losing its largest single donor if DeSantis does not adopt a more “moderate” platform.

Robert Bigelow is the owner of Budget Suites of America and was the founder of Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace. So far he has forked over more than $20 million to DeSantis’ Never Back Down PAC. That total covered two-thirds of the PAC’s haul in the first half of this year.

But that generosity may be coming to a close.

According to Reuters, Bigelow said Friday that he will withdraw his support for the Florida governor if the campaign does not shift policy.

Speaking to the outlet, he declared that DeSantis must change course “to get to moderates. He’ll lose if he doesn’t…Extremism isn’t going to get you elected.”

Bigelow announced he will cut off his campaign funding “until I see that he’s able to generate more on his own. I’m already too big a percentage.” The entrepreneur would not specify an exact fundraising figure DeSantis must reach but said, “it’s going to be a lot.”

The multimillionaire also donated $10 million to DeSantis’ reelection campaign last year. NBC News reported that total surpassed all other donations he received combined.

When Reuters asked about specific policies that need to change, Bigelow only mentioned one. In April, DeSantis signed into law a bill banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. That came after the $20 million donation.

Bryan Griffin, a spokesperson for the DeSantis campaign, commented only that they are “grateful” for their supporters. He credited that support for enabling the Florida governor “to compete for the long haul.”

DeSantis continues to struggle to gain ground on the Republican frontrunner, former President Donald Trump. Expected to put up more of a challenge, his support among likely GOP primary voters has settled into the teens, far behind the leader.

The governor has so far based his campaign on conservative social policies. That was the winning formula that swept him to an overwhelming reelection in the Sunshine State in 2022.

But on the national stage, his message has fallen flat. Whether it’s the message or the messenger, the Republican Party is increasingly circling the wagons around Trump.

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