Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently gathered dozens of top donors and several fellow Republican governors for an informal "get to know you" conference, Politico reported.
The "lightly scheduled" event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, offered a chance to connect key donors and friendly media influencers to Republican officeholders and candidates who share DeSantis' political priorities and support his style of governing, sources told Politico.
The report of the conference comes as DeSantis runs for reelection in November and amid talk that he might seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
The daylong get-together included drinks and cigars, dinner with a DeSantis speech, and panels moderated by the governor.
Govs. Kim Reynolds, R-Iowa, Henry McMaster, R-S.C., Kevin Stitt, R-Okla., and Bill Lee, R-Tenn., attended the event, Politico reported.
Arkansas gubernatorial candidate and former Trump White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former Maine governor and current gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage and Nevada Senate candidate Adam Laxalt also attended, Politico said.
A DeSantis campaign spokesperson declined to comment to the outlet.
Former President Donald Trump last week moved ahead of DeSantis in market tracking polls predicting the 2024 Republican presidential primary and that year's general election.
PredictIt is an online political futures market in which users purchase shares relating to the outcome of political events using real money.
In the race for the 2024 GOP nomination, Trump "yes" shares on Thursday morning were worth 44 cents, 9 cents more than DeSantis. No other Republican candidate was above 6 cents.
Late last month, a Yahoo! News/YouGov poll showed DeSantis closing in on Trump.
When asked, "Who would you rather see as the Republican nominee for President in 2024?" and given a choice between Trump and DeSantis, 45% of Republican and Republican-leaning respondents in the survey said they prefer Trump, while 36% said they prefer DeSantis.
The 9-point difference was the closest anyone had come to Trump in the poll up to that time.
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