A Johnson spokesperson, nevertheless, stated Johnson didn’t intend to endorse within the main.
“Sen. Johnson traditionally doesn’t endorse in primaries and plans to proceed this pattern and stay neutral in 2024,” stated Corinne Day, a Johnson spokesperson.
Additionally seen was Arizona Republican Jim Lamon, a photo voltaic vitality government and Trump donor who aggressively aligned himself with the previous president throughout his unsuccessful 2022 Senate bid. Lamon was additionally concerned in efforts to overturn the 2020 election outcomes exhibiting President Joe Biden defeated Trump. Lamon was certainly one of 11 GOP electors who signed a document claiming to be Arizona’s legitimate electors, which was mailed to the Senate and the Nationwide Archives.
One other main determine within the Republican donor world who attended DeSantis’ event is Roy Bailey, a longtime Texas fundraiser who helped lead Trump’s marketing campaign finance committee. And the event additionally included a number of of DeSantis’ fellow governors, together with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, who benefited from a Trump-hosted fundraising throughout his reelection bid final 12 months, and Tennessee Gov. Invoice Lee, who was additionally backed by Trump in his 2022 reelection marketing campaign.
The retreat comes as DeSantis is rising his nationwide profile. The governor is about to publish a brand new guide on Tuesday, and this previous week, he appeared earlier than legislation enforcement officers in Philadelphia, New York Metropolis and Chicago. DeSantis can be benefiting from a newly launched nonprofit group that would promote his insurance policies. These current on the convention stated DeSantis made no point out of whether or not he deliberate to run for president, although a lot of these in attendance stated they have been keen to see him achieve this.
On Saturday, DeSantis is to maintain one other panel dialogue with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, whose dwelling state hosts the GOP’s first presidential nominating contest. An individual shut to Reynolds, nevertheless, stated the governor didn’t plan to endorse within the main. Reynolds, who chairs the Republican Governors Affiliation, additionally appeared with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, one other potential 2024 candidate, in Iowa this previous week.
Different attendees noticed within the crowd included Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, Texas Rep. Chip Roy, Utah Sen. Mike Lee and 2022 Nevada Senate candidate Adam Laxalt, a longtime DeSantis good friend. Conservative commentators Ann Coulter and Dana Loesch have been additionally current.
The retreat caps off a significant week within the Republican donor world. On Thursday night, Trump hosted a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago, and on Friday, a number of potential presidential candidates gathered in Austin, Texas, for a donor convention organized by longtime GOP strategist Karl Rove.