Great American Comeback, the leadership PAC aligned with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign, has donated nearly $100,000 to a slate of Iowa legislators who have endorsed the governor’s White House bid, according to Iowa campaign finance records.
At least 14 of the 42 Iowa state legislators who have endorsed DeSantis received donations from the leadership PAC, ranging in individual sums from $2,500 to $15,000. The first donations were made in early October, followed by several more in November and another three in December, the campaign finance records show.
While other campaigns and leadership PACs have done this in the past, the practice is not overwhelmingly common. A search of Iowa’s campaign finance system for other PACs affiliated with GOP presidential candidates came up empty for donations to state legislative candidates, suggesting these contributions to DeSantis’ supporters are the only ones of their kind in this election, at least so far.
The disclosures provide the first glimpse at Great American Comeback’s spending since the DeSantis campaign began to use the vehicle last summer. It can raise money in concert with DeSantis’ campaign, but it has restrictions on how it can be spent — and it doesn’t have to file a campaign finance disclosure detailing its activity since July until the end of Jan. 31, after the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.
Iowa state Senate President Amy Sinclair and state House Majority Leader Matt Windschitl — two of the governor’s most high-profile legislative endorsers — received the largest single donations to their campaign committees, at $15,000 each. Both contributions came in late Dec. 2023, according to Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board data.
While the leadership PAC “is a separate entity from the campaign, Ron DeSantis strives to make sure the party succeeds as a whole,” DeSantis spokesman Andrew Romeo said in a statement in response to an inquiry about the donations. “Rising tides lift all boats — just as Republicans were victorious up and down the ballot in Florida under his leadership, as president, he will end the Republican Party’s culture of losing and make winning contagious,” he added.
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