Peterffy Pauses DeSantis Support Over Social Stances, FT Says

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(Bloomberg) -- A top Republican donor said he won’t back a US presidential bid by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis because of his stance on social issues, the Financial Times reported.

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Thomas Peterffy, billionaire chairman of Interactive Brokers, said he and some of his friends will put any financial support on hold because of the governor’s positions on abortions and book bans.

“We are waiting to see who among the primary candidates is most likely to be able to win the general, and then put all of our firepower behind them,” Peterffy told the FT.

Peterffy didn’t immediately respond to a request from Bloomberg for comment.

DeSantis has been laying the groundwork to run against former President Donald Trump in the 2024 primary but hasn’t formally announced plans to run.

Peterffy previously said he wouldn’t support Trump financially in this election after backing him in 2020, alongside other prominent donors like Citadel’s Ken Griffin and Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman.

Republican Donors Sour on Trump, Seek to Choke Off 2024 Bid

Recent polling shows DeSantis far behind Trump in voter popularity, with the gap widening since the former president’s indictment in New York this month. Pro-DeSantis super-PAC Never Back Down is to spend at least a half million dollars to roll out its first national ad next week, according to AdImpact, an ad-tracking firm.

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Nikki Haley, Trump’s ambassador the the United Nations, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Ohio entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Michigan businessman Perry Johnson have all entered the 2024 Republican race. Among other possible 2024 GOP contenders are Mike Pence, Trump’s vice president, and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, who recently announced a presidential exploratory committee. Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this week he won’t run.

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