EXCLUSIVE: Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis’ team is distancing itself from a super PAC boosting him as a candidate in the 2024 presidential race and the future of the Republican Party.
In a letter sent Friday to DeSantis’ donors, Benjamin Gibson, legal counsel for DeSantis, said he had “recently learned through media reports that a super PAC apparently named ‘Ron to the Rescue’ (‘PAC’) is being formed reportedly ‘in order to boost a potential 2024 presidential run from Governor Ron DeSantis.’ This is similar to other ‘pro-DeSantis’ PACs that have formed and continue to use Ron DeSantis’ name and likeness of him to raise funds without his permission or authorization.”
“Whether well intentioned or not, the organizers of these PACs have not been in contact with DeSantis leadership and such efforts may create confusion among supporters of the Governor and his policies,” Gibson wrote.
In an effort to boost a run by DeSantis for president in 2024, the PAC states on its website that America needs “someone with the bravery of President Lincoln, the charm of President Reagan, and the determination of President Trump.” DeSantis has not announced a run for presidency.
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The PAC, noting DeSantis’ “historic near 20% margin victory” over Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist in the Sunshine State’s Nov. 8 gubernatorial election, said it “is clear that Governor Ron DeSantis is the frontrunner to restore American Exceptionalism and once again put America First!”
“It is important to make clear to supporters that Governor DeSantis and his team are not affiliated with the ‘Ron to the Rescue’ PAC, have not authorized it to conduct any activity on their behalf, and contributions made to the ‘Ron to the Rescue ‘ PAC will not benefit Governor DeSantis or his agenda,” Gibson said.
The PAC was reportedly founded by GOP strategist John Thomas, who serves as founder and president of the political advertising and strategy group Thomas Partners Strategies.
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In an interview with Business Insider last week, Thomas said DeSantis’ performance in the Florida midterm elections was “the perfect cascading of events politically for the governor.”
The PAC has also been busy at work producing ads that tout DeSantis’ leadership in Florida and would boost his candidacy should he seek the GOP nomination for president in 2024.
“Not only are my original donors thrilled and jazzed to start cutting checks, but I’ve received some calls from very large law-enforcement unions that are going to throw in six figures to start, and lend me their name and credibility in the ads ,” Thomas told the outlet. “There are public safety leaders that are longing for DeSantis’ leadership on crime and immigration. Some very large police groups.”
Fox News Digital reached out to Thomas about the PAC’s mission and whether he had attempted to contact DeSantis’ team about the effort, but did not receive an immediate response.
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While DeSantis has not signaled whether he would run for president in 2024, several Republican strategists and voters are urging him to enter the race after former President Donald Trump announced a third bid for the White House this week.
At a rally earlier this month, Trump mocked DeSantis and referred to him as “Ron DeSanctimonious” in what appears to be a sign of growing tension.