(The Hill) – One of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) most prominent donors told reporters on Friday that he would cut off funds to his 2024 campaign if he didn’t adopt a more “moderate approach.”
Robert Bigelow, the founder of Budget Suites of America and Bigelow Aerospace, told Reuters in an interview that he spoke with DeSantis’ campaign and said DeSantis risks losing Bigelow’s support unless he shifts his agenda to target moderates.
“He’ll lose if he doesn’t,” he said, referring to DeSantis’ chances against former President Trump. “Extremism isn’t going to get you elected.”
He added that his funding wouldn’t resume “until I see that he’s able to generate more on his own.”
“I’m already too big a percentage,” Bigelow claimed. “A lot of his donors are still on the fence.”
When asked what led him to the decision to curb funding, the entrepreneur pointed to what he called the governor’s “extreme positions” on policy, including the six-week abortion ban DeSantis signed into law in April.
He claimed six weeks is too short, as many women don’t know they are pregnant at that stage, according to Reuters.
Still, Bigelow said in the interview that he remains behind DeSantis and believes he is “the best guy for the country.”
The billionaire has already given $20 million to the “Never Back Down” pro-DeSantis super PAC. He is also considered the Florida governor’s largest individual donor.
The news comes as DeSantis’ campaign has struggled to meet financial expectations and amid a reset cut of a total of 38 staffers over the last several weeks. The shake-up is an effort to “streamline operations and put Ron DeSantis in the strongest position to win this primary,” according to his team.
Despite the governor’s efforts on the campaign trail to visit early primary states, Trump is still leading DeSantis by double digits, according to polling averages. A new poll out of Iowa this week shows the former president ahead of DeSantis by 24 points.