Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis remains competitive with former President Donald Trump when it comes to campaign fundraising in Wyoming.
Campaign finance information released by the Federal Election Commission this week shows Trump raised $63,956.09 from Wyoming residents during the second quarter that ran from April 1 through June 30.
His leading challenger, DeSantis, raised $51,545. It was the first financial report released from DeSantis since he launched his campaign for the 2024 presidential nomination May 24.
The competitiveness of this funding battle is notable considering the DeSantis campaign has hit a number of snags along the way.
According to NBC News, the DeSantis campaign fired roughly a dozen staffers last week. In addition, many of his donors and allies are pressing for a change because of his stagnant poll numbers, trailing Trump by more than 30% in most.
Although DeSantis raised more than $20 million from mid-May to the end of June, more than two-thirds of that money came from donors who gave the legal limit and can’t donate again. He also spent about 40% of what he raised, according to his campaign finance filings.
Who’s Giving To DeSantis?
One of the largest donors to DeSantis in Wyoming is Jackson Hole Mountain Resort owner John Kemmerer, who gave DeSantis a maximum $6,600 donation.
Kemmerer was a major Trump donor, and also has given significant sums to U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman. Hageman was endorsed by Trump in her 2022 campaign and has already endorsed Trump for president in 2024.
Also donating the maximum $6,600 to DeSantis was Dicky Shanor, chief of staff for Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder.
Other members of the Shanor family gave a combined $13,200 to the DeSantis campaign.
Sam Galeotos, a 2018 Republican gubernatorial candidate, gave DeSantis $3,300.
What About Trump?
Trump received donations from significantly more people in Wyoming than DeSantis in the second quarter, which is consistent with national trends.
Since the start of 2023, Trump has received $101,644.03 from Wyoming residents.
The biggest Trump donor during the second quarter was Jackson resident Cathleen Brophy, who gave $3,300 to his campaign. Brophy and her husband are frequent donors to Wyoming campaigns.
Gore-Tex heiress Susan Gore, who is being investigated by federal prosecutors for efforts she allegedly made to spy on and infiltrate the Wyoming Democratic Party, gave $2,475 to Trump during the second quarter.
Wyoming State Treasurer Curt Meier has given $2,298.49 to Trump since the start of the year.
Biden Beating RFK
On the Democratic side of the aisle, President Joe Biden is outraising fellow Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in his reelection bid in Wyoming.
Biden raised $19,830.75 in the second quarter through 20 donations from Wyoming residents. The largest donor was Teton County resident Phillipe Hartl, who gave a combined $5,000.
Kennedy has raised $9,154.42 from Wyomingites. His largest donor was Powell resident Mario Ponticello, who gave $2,400.
Kennedy is seen as a rising alternative candidate for moderate members of both the Republican and Democratic parties and independent voters who are not content with the frontrunners Biden and Trump.
Other Wyoming Efforts
U.S. Sen. John Barrasso is leading Wyoming’s congressional delegation for money raised in 2023 with $1.5 million. Nearly half came from other political groups and political action committees rather than individual donors.
Barrasso, a Republican, is up for reelection in 2024 if he decides to run again.
Since the start of 2023, Hageman has raised $766,616. Most was received through donations made this year. Hageman will also be up for reelection in 2024 if she chooses to run for a second term.
No one has declared they will run against either politician yet.
U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyoming, has raised significantly less than Barrasso and Hageman but is not up for reelection until 2026. She’s brought in $111,265 in 2023. From this total, $26,367 has come from individual contributors.
As it is an off-year election cycle, all of these presidential and congressional campaign figures will likely be dwarfed by the sums given in the next election year.
Leo Wolfson can be reached at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com.