Big GOP Money Man Bails on DeSantis

Thomas Peterffy, CEO of Interactive Brokers Group, at his offices in Greenwich. (Photo by James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images)
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One of the small community of moneymen who fund the Republican Party is pulling his support from Ron DeSantis. Thomas Peterffy, the wealthiest man in Florida until Ken Griffin relocated there, tells The Financial Times that “because of [DeSantis’s] stance on abortion and book banning … myself, and a bunch of friends, are holding our powder dry.”

Though numerous press reports and a letter to employees say Griffin moved to Florida for tax purposes and the better corporate environment, Griffin told Fortune magazine, in an interview sent to TPM in response to this article, that taxes were not the reason he and his company moved to Florida.

Peterffy states the matter with some ambiguity. But it doesn’t seem that the issue is that these positions are unacceptable to him. It’s more that he thinks they make DeSantis unelectable in the general election or at a steep disadvantage. If he runs hard right on these issues to beat Trump, Peterffy says, “the Republicans have a very big problem.”

Peterffy isn’t one of the top handful of biggest Republican givers. Griffin, who recently transitioned to being a Floridian, gave $73 million to Republican causes in 2022, the most of any giver in the country. That compares to Peterffy’s $7.7 million. But he is one of the couple dozen who increasingly fund the Republican Party as small-donor contributions have atrophied.

Ed. Note: This post was revised in response to an email from a representative of Griffin’s company to note that Griffin denies moving to Florida for tax reasons.

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