Ron DeSantis turns to Wall Street executives and is the top fundraising lawyer to catch Trump


US Republican presidential candidate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during his “Never Back Down” tour before his appearance at the Iowa State Fair, in Atlantic, Iowa, August 11, 2023.

Scott Morgan | Reuters

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is turning to a group of Wall Street executives and a top lawyer to boost his fundraising, as he aims to close the gap with Donald Trump in the race to be the Republican nominee for president, according to calls for two upcoming candidates. Events in New York.

DeSantis will be hosted at a fundraising breakfast Thursday in New York by at least seven wealthy CEOs, according to one invitation.

Hosts include veteran attorney William Burke, David Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Capital, Steve Hornstein, an executive at investment advisory firm Global Credit Advisers, and Mark Gerson, co-founder of financial information services firm Gerson Lerman Group, according to Invites.

Burke has already an actress Trump’s former advisers have faced legal hurdles, including Steve Bannon and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

DeSantis’ fundraising trip to New York comes as he trails the former president in the polls. Trump is favored in the Republican primary with a 62% approval rating, followed by DeSantis with 12%, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

Later Thursday, DeSantis will attend a luncheon hosted by Emil Henry, CEO of private equity firm Tiger Infrastructure Partners, according to another invitation.

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Henry is a longtime GOP fundraiser who was an adviser to Sen. Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, according to NBC News. He also served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during the administration of President George W. Bush.

Tickets to be considered a “host” for the breakfast will be $11,600 per person, the invitation says. The invitation lists a suggested minimum contribution of $1,500 to participate in the event. The lunch costs $11,600 per person to get into the event and be on the “host committee,” according to the invitation. Attendees can also donate $3,300 in lieu of attending.

Money raised for both events will be split through DeSantis’ joint fundraising account between the campaign and a leadership political action committee called Great American Comeback, according to the invitations. The PAC’s leadership has not raised any money this cycle, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

A person familiar with the events told CNBC that the two gatherings were in New York, in addition to… last Scheduled for Wednesday in Connecticut, the event is set to raise $1 million for DeSantis’ political operation. About 50 people are scheduled to attend each New York event. This person declined to reveal his name in order to speak freely about the private events.

DeSantis’ campaign raised more than $20 million in the second quarter and burned through $7 million, moving the campaign into the third quarter with about $12 million on hand, according to Federal Election Commission records. The Trump campaign raised about $17 million during the same time period but entered the third quarter with more than $22 million on hand.

A DeSantis campaign spokesman did not respond to a request for comment before publication.

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