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Three GOP megadonors looking to back DeSantis over Trump

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Three GOP megadonors looking to back DeSantis over Trump

November 16, 06:30 AM November 16, 06:30 AM

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The GOP’s largest donors are already turning their focus to 2024 and the prospect that Republicans could have a nominee other than former President Donald Trump.

The poor results for Trump-backed candidates in the midterm elections have led some Republican business titans, many of whom opposed Trump in the run-up to the 2016 elections, to launch a renewed effort to loosen his grip on the party.

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They’ve also been emboldened by the success of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who handily won his reelection bid and is polling well among Republicans

Here are some of the Republican donors who’ve announced they back DeSantis over Trump:

Ken Griffin

Billionaire hedge fund boss Ken Griffin, who was the third-biggest donor to either party during this most recent election cycle, has already thrown Trump to the wolves. On Tuesday, he panned the former president as a “three-time loser” who should make way for DeSantis.

During the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, Griffin also discussed how DeSantis’s “winning policies” were able to turn Florida from a purple state to a solidly red one.

“I’d like to think that the Republican Party is ready to move on from somebody who has been for this party a three-time loser,” Griffin said in reference to this year’s midterm elections, the GOP losing Georgia’s Senate seats last year, and Trump’s presidential loss in 2020.

Griffin, who was Illinois’s wealthiest resident, recently announced that he was moving his firm, Citadel, to the Sunshine State, where he himself has relocated. It wouldn’t be surprising to expect fundraisers and money flowing from Griffin to DeSantis should he decide to run.

Andy Sabin

New York businessman Andy Sabin backed Jeb Bush during the 2016 primaries but later bankrolled the Trump Victory fund to the tune of $100,000, according to public records. Sabin then poured another $120,000 toward Trump’s reelection campaign.

But now he is looking past Trump.

“I’m not going to give [Trump] a f***ing nickel,” Sabin told CNBC, blaming the former president for the GOP’s red wave not coming to fruition. The businessman asserted that Trump “endorsed candidates who were not necessarily qualified unless they said, ‘I love you, Donald.’”

“At the end of the day, people stayed away because of Trump,” said Sabin, who said he will support DeSantis if the Florida governor wants to take a swing at making it to the White House in 2024.

Stephen Ross

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who hosted a fundraiser at his Hamptons home for Trump in the lead-up to the 2020 election, is also telling friends that he will back DeSantis should he run for president, according to CNBC.

This year, Ross, whose Related Companies owns Equinox and SoulCycle, has donated more than $200,000 to a political action committee supporting DeSantis. Ross has not been an all-or-nothing Trump supporter in the past, either. In 2020, he revealed that his thoughts on Trump were a mixed bag.

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“I’ve known President Trump for a long time. I’ve known him and I’ve liked him. I don’t agree with a lot of his policies. I believe there’s a lot of good, and I believe there’s a lot of bad,” Ross told the New York Times.

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