Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently held a confab of dozens of his top national donors as well as a handful of fellow Republican governors and prominent candidates he’s close to as he runs for reelection and eyes a presidential run in 2024, according to two sources familiar with the event.
Attendees at the event in Fort Lauderdale — which sources described as the most significant assembly of Republican governors outside of the RGA so far this year — included Govs. Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma and Bill Lee of Tennessee, Arkansas gubernatorial candidate and former Trump White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former Maine Gov. and current gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage and Nevada Senate candidate Adam Laxalt.
Conservative media influencers in attendance included Buck Sexton, Lisa Boothe and Josh Hammer.
DeSantis’ political operation billed the “lightly scheduled” event as a chance to connect his key donors and friendly media figures to Republican governors and candidates who share the Florida governor’s political priorities and support his style of governing. The daylong conference featured an informal “get to know you” session over drinks and cigars, a dinner accompanied by a speech from DeSantis, and panels showcasing the visiting governors and conservative pundits moderated by DeSantis.
A DeSantis campaign spokesperson declined to comment.