A Las Vegas space entrepreneur who is financing afterlife and UFO research and believes aliens walk among us has given an astronomical sum to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s political committee: $10 million.
The July 7 contribution from Robert Bigelow — once dubbed the “Cosmic Landlord” by Forbes — is the biggest single donation DeSantis has received in his re-election campaign amid speculation he’s entertaining a 2024 presidential bid.
The check Bigelow cut to the Friends of Ron DeSantis committee and published on its website Thursday evening is so big that it exceeds the total combined contributions received this year, as of July 1, by both of the Democrats seeking to challenge DeSantis in the fall.
In all, DeSantis’s committee and campaign have raised an historic sum from big donors and small-dollar givers alike. He now has $130.4 million cash on hand — more than former President Donald Trump’s political committees reported having at the beginning of the year. Trump plans to release new fundraising numbers Friday.
With at least 42 billionaires backing him, DeSantis recently convened top donors and fellow governors for a confab in Fort Lauderdale, and he has a Monday meeting scheduled with megadonors in Utah. DeSantis has steadily avoided talk of any presidential ambitions, saying he’s only focused on re-election this fall.
That public posture on re-election has given donors cover to continue pouring money into his campaign without directly challenging Trump. But the former president has nervously eyed potential challengers — and specifically DeSantis’s fundraising and his rise in the polls — to such a degree that he’s reportedly considering an early announcement this year for another White House bid.