The 2024 Republican nomination contenders are shopping for their big donors to launch their campaigns into the White House.
Former president Donald Trump, on his third run for the Oval Office, is gathering some of his big donors at his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago this week.
It marks his super PAC’s first fundraiser, an event that organizers are billing as an intimate candlelight dinner.
One day later, and four miles away, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will host his own contributors for a three-day retreat at the Four Seasons there. DeSantis is expected to draw around 150 top donors and other supporters to the event, many of whom formerly backed Trump.
DeSantis has yet to officially announce his run for the Republican ticket but is considered to be Trump’s lead potential rival for the Republican nomination.
And over in Texas, there will be a donor conference in Austin organized by former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove and featuring a handful of other prospective Republican presidential candidates, including former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, among others.
Haley is the only candidate besides Trump who has officially announced to be running.
The dueling events will pull back the curtain on an intensifying battle for big donors in 2024.
Republicans are moving aggressively to expand their networks of major contributors and block out rivals who are competing for the same dollars.
The slate of donor events also neatly illustrates the current state of the developing Republican primary: Trump and DeSantis are in a league of their own. Meanwhile, the rest of the field is fighting with each other to enter the top tier.
Those planning the conferences this week describe the donor recruitment fight as intense and wide-open.
A large number of big contributors are eager to move on from Trump. Many Republican contributors are reportedly gravitating towards DeSantis, but some are still shopping around for their ideal candidate.