DeSantis heads to Utah for major Republican fundraising event, fueling presidential speculations

Florida governor is regarded as possible frontrunner in 2024 White House race.

Updated: July 7, 2022 - 4:47pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week is planning a major fundraiser in Utah for later in July, a strong sign that the popular Republican politician is continuing to investigate a possible 2024 presidential bid. 

DeSantis "is planning a private fundraiser in Utah later this month that is expected to draw some of the country’s wealthiest Republican donors," CNBC reported on Thursday, citing "people familiar with the matter."

The event is nominally a fundraiser for DeSantis's 2022 re-election bid, a race the governor is broadly expected to win based on polls over the last year. 

But his attendance of a major Republican fundraising event in Utah is a subtle yet indelible sign that the governor's hopes may lay a few years further down the road, in 2024. Utah is known for being a major Republican stronghold and a proving ground for Republicans with national aspirations. 

DeSantis has refrained from saying one way or the other whether he intends to run in 2024. Analysts, meanwhile, project an ugly primary fight between DeSantis and Trump if both opt to run.

A DeSantis spokeswoman declined to comment to CNBC on the Utah fundraiser, while Utah Republican Party Chairman Carson Jorgensen appeared to downplay the event's national significance. 

“We just want to see more events done in the state supporting great candidates across the country,” Jorgensen told the news outlet.