Aerospace Entrepreneur Donates $10 Million to Gov. Ron DeSantis Reelection Effort

By Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Reporter
Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia. Contact him on caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au
July 16, 2022 Updated: July 16, 2022

A Nevada aerospace entrepreneur has donated $10 million to support Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s reelection campaign.

News of the $10 million was published by the Friends of Ron DeSantis statewide political committee on its website on Thursday. The donation was made on July 7 and is the largest single contribution that DeSantis, a Republican, has received.

The donor is Robert Bigelow, the founder of Bigelow Aerospace, a “general contracting, research and development company” located in Las Vegas attempting to develop an “expandable habitat” in space.

The donation comes amid speculation about whether DeSantis will announce his candidacy for president in 2024.

Bigelow’s contribution is so large that it dwarfs the total combined donations made to DeSantis’ Democrat competitors as of July 1, NBC News reported.

The political committee has so far raised more than $130 million to “support and discuss” DeSantis in Florida. Records show the committee has garnered a significant amount of financial contributions from big donors to micro donors alike (pdf).

Billionaire Support

DeSantis’ reelection efforts have reportedly seen support from at least 42 billionaires and their super wealthy family members, according to analyses, Tallahassee Democrat reported.

The outlet reported that among the Florida governor’s noteworthy billionaire donors is Citadel founder and CEO Ken Griffin, worth $26 billion, according to Forbes. He donated $5 million.

DeSantis’ reelection efforts have also been financially supported by Julia Koch, the widow of David Koch, worth more than $62 billion; Julie Jenkins Fancelli, one of the children of Publix founder George Jenkins, worth around $8 billion; and others.

The world’s richest man, Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, has also thrown his moral support behind DeSantis. Musk has said that he’s leaning towards voting for DeSantis if he runs for president in 2024.

Musk has also expressed the belief that DeSantis would win the presidency, while at the same time predicting that a “red wave” is coming in the 2022 midterms.

DeSantis has welcomed Musk’s support but has not given any indication that he intends to run for president, saying that he is focused on the November midterms.

Trump Considers Announcement

Recently, former President Donald Trump teased an announcement about his decision regarding a 2024 presidential run.

Trump has said that he’s made up his mind on a decision but has not said what that would be. He is mulling whether to make an announcement before or after the midterms.

Trump has acknowledged DeSantis’ eligibility as a Republican presidential nominee but ultimately believes the Florida governor would lose if the 45th president runs again. Having only served one term, Trump is eligible to run again.

“I don’t know if Ron is running, and I don’t ask him. It’s his prerogative … I think I would win,” Trump told The New Yorker in June.

Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia. Contact him on caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au