SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis swept into downtown Salt Lake City and Deer Valley on Wednesday, and left with campaign cash from donors who paid thousands—even tens-of-thousands of dollars.
The money will go to DeSantis’ re-election campaign in Florida, but the mountain fundraising is seen through the prism of a potential White House run, not a return trip to Tallahassee.
“You think he’s in? (the presidential race)?” 2News asked Amy Wolfe, who attended a luncheon at Deer Valley’s St. Regis Hotel.
“Why else is he here?“ she replied.
An invitation stated contribution levels were $50,000 a person for the luncheon and reception with DeSantis, and $25,000 a couple for lunch.
Corissa Thomas, also in the room, said DeSantis did not say he was running for president.
“He sounded like a president,” she said. “I’ll give you that.”
When 2News showed up to the St. Regis event, a young campaign aide could be heard telling security ‘get them out.’
We were then told we had to leave the building, but could remain in a separate part of the hotel. The DeSantis campaign took a similar approach earlier in the day at the downtown Hilton, where a $500 per person breakfast was held—$2,500 for breakfast and a photo with DeSantis.
Morgan Treft, who was at the breakfast, summed up DeSantis’ comments as ‘we’ve had it with the woke-ism.’
DeSantis spoke on CRT, the battle with Disney over a state ban on reaching gender identity through the third grade, and keeping Florida open during the worst of COVID.
Flash Newman owns a kick boxing business in Utah, and said COVID-19 put his business on the ropes because government here forced him to close for a time.
“I don’t think it would have happened in Florida,” he said, but added if the GOP presidential race comes down to former President Trump and DeSantis, he’ll vote for Trump.
One other person agreed, two said they’d support DeSantis over Trump, and one said, “That’s a hard question.”