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One of Florida’s wealthiest GOP donors won’t finance a DeSantis presidential run because of his book bans, but supports the governor’s war with Disney

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

  • GOP megadonor Thomas Peterffy said he changed his mind about financially supporting DeSantis. 
  • Peterffy told the Financial Times he didn’t like the governor’s stance on abortion or book bans.
  • Peterffy is on board with DeSantis in his battle against Disney, however.

A mega wealthy GOP donor in Florida who initially wanted to back Governor Ron DeSantis should he run for president said he’s taking it back. 

Thomas Peterffy told Financial Times that DeSantis’ “stance on abortion and book banning” meant that he and “his friends” are no longer planning to give the Republican governor their money. Peterffy also said he believed that DeSantis had lost “momentum.”

DeSantis signed into law the Stop Woke Act and the Don’t Say Gay Act in 2022. These laws have resulted in the removal of thousands of books not approved by the state from school classrooms. He also signed into law a six-week abortion ban on Thursday.

Peterffy, however, also told the publication that he fully supported the governor’s stance on Disney, calling it “insane” for a private company to “take a stand on gender issues.” DeSantis has been battling Walt Disney World in Florida after the company publicly objected to Florida’s proposal to ban the discussion of sexual orientation in K-3 public classrooms.

DeSantis attempted to take away the theme park’s self-governing status and appoint a board to oversee it, but a legal loophole resulted in the board becoming powerless.

Peterffy, a chairman for the brokerage firm Interactive Brokers, previously donated $200,000 to DeSantis’ 2018 gubernatorial campaign.

DeSantis has not announced a 2024 run for president, but he has continued to tease the possibility.

A spokesperson for DeSantis’ office and Interactive Brokers did not respond to a request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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