Florida Governor and 2024 Republican presidential contender Ron DeSantis is set to launch a three-day tour of Texas to raise cash for his ongoing campaign.
DeSantis is set to visit six Texas cities, each with a lineup of major conservative donors eager to back a challenge to former President Donald Trump.
DeSantis will visit Midland on June 7, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston on June 8, and The Woodlands and Austin on June 9. The visit marks the first time DeSantis is visiting Texas since he launched his campaign for President on Twitter.
Oil and gas entrepreneur Javaid Anwar is hosting DeSantis in Midland, effectively throwing his hat behind DeSantis, and polls show DeSantis as the single-most viable challenger to former President Trump. Anwar has been Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s largest single donor over the course of his multi-decade political career.
In Dallas, DeSantis is expected to meet with oil magnate Harold Hamm, telecom mogul Kenny Troutt, and auto industry billionaire Jay Adair.
In Houston, Texans for Lawsuit Reform is joining real estate developers Richard Weekley and Alan Hassenflu to host DeSantis. Both Weekley and Hassenflu serve on the Texans for Lawsuit Reform Board of Directors.
Some of the donors hosting DeSantis were previously supportive of former President Donald Trump’s multiple campaigns for President, including Harold Hamm, who was considered for Energy Secretary by Trump before Trump ultimately picked former Texas Governor Rick Perry to serve in the role.
DeSantis has largely consolidated support from wealthy conservative donors who believe DeSantis would bring Trump-esque policies to the White House without Trump’s controversies.
So far, rank-and-file Texas Republican primary voters disagree with the assessments of the Republican donor class.
According to the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation’s recent poll, Texas Republican primary voters prefer Trump to DeSantis by a 57% to 36% margin.
Other polls have tracked a polling slide for DeSantis. In late December 2022, Defend Texas Liberty PAC found that Trump led DeSantis by only one point, 37% to 36%. By early May, DeSantis collapsed to 16% while Trump consolidated 54% of polled respondents.