DeSantis to gather top donors as presidential launch looms

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Ron DeSantis has summoned top financial backers to Miami next week, in what is the latest indication the Florida governor is on the precipice of launching his long-awaited presidential campaign.

The invitations — which were described by two people familiar with the discussions — request that donors be present from May 24-26. By law, DeSantis can not directly receive or solicit contributions for a presidential campaign unless he has formally launched his bid.

A DeSantis spokesperson declined to comment.

DeSantis has spent months laying the groundwork for a campaign, including traveling the country to promote a new book, “The Courage to be Free,” and has made stops in the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. On Saturday, he made multiple stops in Iowa.

DeSantis has stayed in close contact with donors over the past few weeks and months. But there are now indications that he is accelerating his presidential planning. On Monday, Fox News reported that Bryan Griffin would be stepping down from his role as press secretary in the governor’s office to join the DeSantis political operation.

“No news yet, so just hang out there,” DeSantis said over the weekend when asked by a reporter if he was nearing an announcement.

Should he pull the trigger, DeSantis would likely be the second Republican candidate to announce next week. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott is expected to formally launch his bid on Monday in North Charleston, S.C.