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Ron DeSantis is planning to raise money for Donald Trump in Florida and Texas, AP sources say

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is planning to raise money for former President Donald Trump in the coming weeks, putting into action the commitment he made at a meeting with Trump last month to help his former rival for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details have not been finalized and plans could still shift in the weeks ahead. Still, DeSantis is making calls to donors while his finance team works quickly to put together a schedule that would include stops in Florida and Texas, the people said.

DeSantis is taking concrete steps toward a political reconciliation with Trump, who for months taunted his GOP opponent as “DeSanctimonious” as the Florida governor argued Trump’s time had come and gone. The developments also show DeSantis’ effort to offer among his most prized assets — his prolific fundraising network — in a gesture that could pay dividends if he runs for president again in 2028, when Trump would be ineligible to run if he wins this November due to constitutional term limits.

“He’s shown his commitment to the president and that’s why I say we’ll follow his lead, and why I think donors will follow his lead,” said Roy Bailey, a Dallas investor who was a co-chairman of DeSantis’ national finance committee during his presidential campaign, but was not among those to confirm the planning. “We will be focused on past DeSantis donors who have yet to donate to President Trump. We’re going to try to mine those donors for him. That will create a lot of value.”

DeSantis, viewed after his dominant reelection in 2022 as a potentially viable Trump rival, raised more than $183 million toward his ultimately unsuccessful Republican presidential primary campaign. The vast majority, more than $145 million, was raised for the super PAC Never Back Down, which could take unlimited sums. DeSantis also raised more than $200 million toward his 2022 Florida campaign.

“We are actively working on plans to fundraise in support of President Trump, as well as other Republicans up and down the ballot,” DeSantis spokesperson Taryn Fenske said in a text message to The Associated Press.

By THOMAS BEAUMONT
Associated Press

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