Ron DeSantis lines up business leaders to raise money for 2024 presidential run

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Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis celebrates onstage during his 2022 U.S. midterm elections night party in Tampa, Florida, November 8, 2022.

Marco Bello | Reuters

Gov. 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 political official with the Florida Republican.

The bundler list, which was first provided to CNBC, includes business leaders from industries ranging from real estate to finance. DeSantis is set to announce his run for president Wednesday evening during a Twitter discussion with the social media platform’s owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Bundlers will gather at the Four Seasons hotel in Miami from Wednesday through Friday. They’ll receive briefings from campaign staff and call around to raise money 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 DeSantis campaign’s bundler list includes David Horowitz, the chairman of the Horowitz Group, a family office and real estate investment firm based in California. Horowitz did not return a request for comment.

Horowitz has previously donated $25,000 to the pro-DeSantis PAC Friends of Ron DeSantis, which was rebranded with new leadership as the Florida governor moved to launch his bid for the White House. During 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 site OpenSecrets.

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

Lambert’s firm created the MAGA ETF, an exchange traded fund that’s advertised as a way for people to invest in companies that align with Republican political beliefs. Lambert served on Trump’s Inaugural Committee and was a national finance chair for Trump’s successful 2016 campaign for president, according to his website.

“I certainly think north of $500k of hard dollars is very possible for me,” Lambert said in an email when asked how much he is aiming 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 is losing or has lost previously,” he later added.

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

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

Zeidman previously donated to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s failed campaign for president, 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 that 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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