Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spent about $1.5 million on private jets over a three-month period during his 2024 presidential campaign, even as his White House bid faces financial difficulties.
DeSantis, who is considered Donald Trump‘s main rival in the GOP primary, but massively trails the former president in the polls, was found to have forked out vast sums on private travel as his campaign spent almost as much as it brought in, according to third-quarter financial filings on Sunday.
As noted by Politico, while DeSantis’ campaign did travel on commercial flights, it also spent $1.5 million on private jets during the last quarter. The campaign paid the sum to at least six private jets providers: Advanced Aviation Team and Avion Aviation, Empyreal Jet, IsraJets, N2024D LLC, and Silver Air Private Jets. The Washington Post reported that most of the private plane flights stopped in July and August, with only an Israjets charge showing up in September.
Many of the plane trips were going back and forth to Iowa, the crucial first-in-the-nation primary caucus state where the DeSantis team appears to be pinning all its hopes on a positive result in January in order to give him a much needed boost for the 2024 bid.
The amount spent on private jets has emerged as DeSantis’ floundering 2024 campaign is being dogged with indications it’s struggling financially. The latest fillings show that DeSantis has spent nearly all of the $11.2 million raised in the last quarter, and entered October with around $1 million in unpaid invoices.
Currently, DeSantis’ campaign still has around $12.3 million of the $31.3 million it has raised during his 2024 bid. However, only $5 million of this money is available as cash for the remainder of the primary season.
The $11 million DeSantis raised in the last quarter was way down on the $20 million the Florida governor managed to raise in the first six weeks of his 2024 campaign, which officially launched in May.
DeSantis’ office has been contacted for comment via email.
It was recently reported that the DeSantis campaign was moving around one-third of its staff out of Florida to Iowa to give greater focus to the state’s primary, as well as cut down on costs.
The latest filings show that DeSantis’ team appears to have been reducing its expenditure, spending around $6 million in July, $3.8 million in August and $1.3 million in September, but still spending almost the total sum it raised in the third quarter.
This comes following reports the campaign had overspent in the first few months of the 2024 campaign, resulting in some 38 staff members—around one-third of the team—being cut in July.
Trump is dominating the GOP primary in terms of fundraising, as well as in the polls.
His latest filings show the former president’s campaign raised $24.5 million over a three-month period, and he went into October with $37.5 million in cash to spend. However, it’s unclear just how much of this money Trump can set aside for the remainder of the primary season.
Trump spent $9.5 million on his campaign in the last quarter, around $1.5 million less than DeSantis.
In an October 10 post on Truth Social, Trump suggested that DeSantis may soon drop out of the GOP primary because of his financial difficulties and falling poll numbers.
“Ron DeSanctimonious has the Poll numbers of a wounded bird falling from the sky. I am up on him by 57 points, and going higher,” Trump wrote.
“He will SOON be out of money and dropping out of the race for President. After having single handidly [sic] gotten him elected Governor, with no thanks or glory, it has been a beautiful thing to watch. Good luck Ron!”