Dueling Banjos, Trump and DeSantis, Court Big Money in Palm Beach This Week

Former President Donald Trump hopes to gather some of his top donors at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday evening,  – as Trump will be hosting his first Super PAC’s initial fundraiser, however, just four miles away, current Florida Governor and presumptive 2024 GOP presidential candidate Gov. Ron DeSantis will host an event of his own, a three-day-long retreat at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, also possibly hoping to rake in more 2024 campaign donations.

As reported by Politico, DeSantis is expected to gather around 150 top donors to the event, many of whom backed Trump in 2016 and 2020, but may jump ship to DeSantis.

According to Politico:

The list of defectors includes Arizona donor Don Tapia, a retired electrical company executive who served as Trump’s ambassador to Jamaica. Tapia was a six-figure contributor to Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns — but said that he had decided to back DeSantis should he run in 2024.

Tapia, who gave more than $50,000 to DeSantis’ reelection bid and hosted a pair of fundraisers for him, contended that donors had grown tired of Trump’s attacks on DeSantis and predicted that the retreat would “overwhelmingly” be attended by former Trump supporters.

Gov. DeSantis has also sparked controversy due to some of his donors, giving some the feeling that he is closer to an elite establishment figure than he is a Trump-lite option. DeSantis has received donations from GOP megadonor and billionaire Ken Griffin, who called Trump a “three-time loser.”

Trump needs many large donors to play a similar role to how Sheldon Adelson supported his campaigns in 2016 and 2020. Mr. Trump is also seeking small-scale donations. In 2020, Trump received over $9 million in donations that were under $200 in value.

Trump will need his Mar-A-Lago event on Thursday to result in large donations that can support him moving forward, so he can continue the momentum heading into 2024 – as he is currently leading in the polls.

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