Republican megadonor Ken Griffin is reportedly hedging his bets on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ potential 2024 presidential campaign.
The hedge fund billionaire, who has vowed not to back former President Donald Trump’s third run for the White House, had “seemed poised” to go all in on DeSantis once he announced his run, possibly next month, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman and Rebecca Davis O’Brien reported on Tuesday.
But Griffin has since privately expressed concerns over some of DeSantis’ positions, including his quiet signing into law of the state’s strict, six-week abortion ban and his comments downplaying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to The Times.
Griffin, the Citadel CEO with a reported fortune of almost $30 billion, has met in private with DeSantis and will “still likely” donate to him once the governor officially launches his campaign, one source predicted to the newspaper. But he may also “give to other candidates” who appear able to beat Trump, the source added.
In November, Griffin publicly denounced Trump, saying the twice-impeached former president “did a lot of things really well,” but “missed the mark on some important areas.”
It was “time to move on to the next generation,” he told Politico at the time.
“The four years under President Trump were so pointlessly divisive it was not constructive for our country,” he told Bloomberg in 2021.
Earlier this month, fellow GOP megadonor Thomas Petterfy said he and other financiers were “holding our powder dry” over backing DeSantis, citing the governor’s extreme positions on abortion and book bans.
DeSantis “seems to have lost some momentum,” Petterfy, the billionaire founder of Interactive Brokers Group, told the Financial Times.