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DeSantis Campaign Holds Fundraisers for White House Race

Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis celebrates on stage during his 2022 U.S. Midterm Election Party in Tampa, Florida November 8, 2022.

Mark Bello | Reuters

Governor Ron DeSantis has assembled a team of wealthy business leaders to help raise money for his presidential campaign, according to a partial list of fundraisers provided by a senior Florida Republican politician.

The list of bundlers, which was first provided to CNBC, includes business leaders in industries ranging from real estate to finance. DeSantis is expected to announce his presidential bid on Wednesday evening during a Twitter chat with the owner of the social media platform and You’re here CEO Elon Musk.

The bundlers will meet at the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami from Wednesday through Friday. They will receive briefings from campaign staff and call to raise funds for the campaign, NBC News reported. DeSantis is considered Donald Trump’s biggest rival in the GOP primary, although the former president has held a healthy lead in recent polls.

The list of DeSantis campaign bundlers includes David Horowitz, chairman of the Horowitz Group, a California-based family office and real estate investment firm. Horowitz did not return a request for comment.

Horowitz has already donated $25,000 to pro-DeSantis PAC friends of Ron DeSantis, who was renamed with new leadership when the governor of Florida decided to launch his White House bid. In the 2020 election, Horowitz contributed just over $35,000 to the Republican National Committee and at least $2,800 to Trump’s failed campaign, according to data from nonpartisan website OpenSecrets.

Hal Lambert, the founder of investment management firm Point Bridge Capital, is also on the list.

Lambert’s firm created the MAGA ETFs, an exchange-traded fund that is advertised as a way for people to invest in companies that align with Republican political beliefs. Lambert served on Trump’s inaugural committee and served as national finance chairman for Trump’s successful 2016 presidential campaign, according to his website.

“I certainly think north of $500,000 hard dollars is entirely possible for me,” Lambert said in an email when asked how much he aims to raise for DeSantis. “I want to win in November and I don’t think Trump will win. If you look at the map, the states we need, he’s losing or has lost before,” he later added.

Records show Lambert also donated to the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC and the Trump campaign.

Jay Zeidman, managing partner of healthcare investment firm Altitude Ventures, is also listed as a fundraiser for the DeSantis campaign. Zeidman did not return a request for comment.

Zeidman has previously donated to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s failed presidential campaign, according to OpenSecrets. The New York Times reports that Zeidman is friends with Bush’s son, George P. Bush.

Frank Mermoud, the president of Orpheus International, is also a member of the DeSantis bundler team, according to the list provided to CNBC. Records show he, too, was a supporter of Bush’s failed primary run for president in 2016.

Mermoud could not be reached for comment.


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