A super PAC promoting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for president has raised $30 million since announcing its launch on March 9, a senior official with the group confirmed to NBC News on Monday.
The group, Never Back Down, has been ramping up its efforts in recent weeks, bringing on veteran Republican operatives — including some who previously worked for former President Donald Trump, who is running again — and boosting DeSantis on social media.
DeSantis has not officially declared his candidacy but is widely expected to enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination after Florida's legislative session ends in May.
The $30 million haul in less than four weeks — first reported by The New York Times — signals an early appetite for a DeSantis campaign. Never Back Down can raise unlimited amounts from donors, said the senior official, who requested anonymity to discuss the super PAC figures. The official said none of the money was transferred from existing political accounts, such as DeSantis' state campaign fund, which has more than $80 million on hand.
Polls have shown that, currently, DeSantis is Trump's strongest potential competitor for the GOP nomination in a field that's still developing. Besides Trump, other declared candidates include Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
DeSantis has been touring the country to promote a recently published political memoir and tout Florida as a blueprint for the country — unsubtle hints that he is preparing a national campaign. He has already visited Iowa, home of the first GOP caucuses of 2024, and this month is scheduled to visit New Hampshire, which votes after Iowa.
Trump was indicted last week by a Manhattan grand jury on charges related to document fraud connected to hush money he allegedly paid to cover up affairs, sources have told NBC News. Trump's campaign reported raising more than $4 million in the 24 hours after word of his indictment broke last week.