Sunday, May 29, 2022

Ron DeSantis has at least 42 billionaire donors. Here are some of the most notable. (USA Today Network/Herald-Tribune)

As Jesse Unruh said, "Money is the mother's milk of politics." 

Money-hungry Flori-DUH Boy Governor RONALD DION DeSANTIS is a pig for money, who suckles on the teats of at least 42 billionaires.  

Ron DeSantis has at least 42 billionaire donors. Here are some of the most notable.

Zac Anderson

A USA TODAY Network – Florida analysis found dozens of billionaires and billionaire family members with a net worth of $275 billion have donated to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reelection effort, a level of billionaire support one expert called “extraordinary.”

More than 40 billionaires back DeSantis’ reelection campaign. Who are they?

By the numbers:Fast facts about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' billionaire donors

Here are some of the governor’s most notable billionaire donors.

Ken Griffin: He is the governor’s top individual donor and also one of the wealthiest, with a net worth of $26 billion according to Forbes. Griffin contributed $5 million to DeSantis’ reelection bid. He is the founder and CEO of Citadel, a Chicago hedge fund, and is highly active in conservative politics. He criticized DeSantis for seeking to punish Disney.

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson, left, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, right, look on as Chicago billionaire Ken Griffin discusses a $10 million donation to reduce gun violence in the city during an April 2018 press conference in Chicago. Griffin gave $5 million to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reelection bid.

Julia Koch: She is the widow of the late David Koch, who was famous for supporting conservative causes, and is the wealthiest DeSantis donor. According to Forbes, Koch and her family are worth $62.2 billion. The Kansas resident inherited a 42% stake in Koch Industries with her three children.

Julia Koch and her late husband, industrialist David Koch.

Julie Jenkins Fancelli: Fancelli is one of seven children of Publix founder George Jenkins. Forbes says the Jenkins family was worth $8.8 billion in 2020. Fancelli, who has homes in Italy, Lakeland and Longboat Key, was a major donor to the rally organized on Jan. 6, 2021 to pressure Congress not to certify the 2020 election. 

Julie Jenkins Fancelli, daughter of Publix Super Markets founder George Jenkins, reportedly gave $300,000 to Alex Jones of the conspiracy-theorist InfoWars website to finance the Jan. 6, 2021, rally in Washington that became a riot on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.

Interactive map:See where DeSantis’ billionaire supporters live across the US

Edward DeBartolo Jr.: He founded Tampa-based real estate company DeBartolo Holdings. DeBarolo owned the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers but his sister took control of the team after DeBartolo pled guilty to being asked for a bribe by the former governor of Louisiana over a riverboat gambling license, and failing to report it. He served probation, was suspended from the NFL and paid a $1 million fine. He was pardoned by Trump. 

In this Aug. 5, 2016, file photo, Pro Football Hall of Fame 2016 inductee Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., talks with reporters in Canton, Ohio. President Donald Trump pardoned DeBartolo, the former San Francisco 49ers owner who was convicted in a gambling fraud scandal.

DeVos family: Four members of the DeVos family donated to DeSantis, including former President Donald Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. They are related to Amway co-founder Richard DeVos, who was worth an estimated $5.4 billion in 2018 when he died. The family owns the Orlando Magic.

Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks during a briefing at the Department of Education building in Washington on July 8, 2020.

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Follow Herald-Tribune Political Editor Zac Anderson on Twitter at @zacjanderson. He can be reached at

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